Friday, 5 January 2018

Utterly Charming...

Chesney Checkley-Hill has been with The Wight Strollers since September 2014, his first production being Aladdin in February 2015, in which he was part of the chorus...and one of the Genie's cross-dressing backing dancers!
He's gone from strength to strength within the company, and in 2016 took his first role as Benjamin in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat before playing Humphrey, the hapless Royal aide, in Jack and the Beanstalk last year.

From Royal servant to fully-fledged Royal, this year he's taking on the role of arguably the best-known fairytale princes: Prince Charming...

So let's get stuck in with asking you how you felt when you were offered the role?
"Well, I was overwhelmed at first and then it sunk in and I was like 'Wow, I get to play the prince!' - it was a bit of a goal for me! And it's Prince Charming!"

He is rather considered the 'ultimate' Prince, I'll give you that! You've got a real mix of romance, song, dance and comedy to enjoy, but what's your favourite moment to perform in the show?
"Without spoiling too much, my favourite moment that I'm in is definitely the 'breakdown' scene that happens between the characters of Dandini and Prince Charming - it's a really fabulous scene, it's funny but it's also quite sweet."

And what about a favourite moment that Prince Charming doesn't appear in?
"I don't know, there are just so many to choose from! Can I just say all of it? I love all of it."

Normally I wouldn't allow that as an answer...but, just this once, I'll take it! What about your most memorable moment with the company as a whole?
"Being Benjamin in Joseph [and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat] - it was my first named part with the Strollers, and it was incredible."

How would you describe Prince Charming? What do you think are his best qualities - and what's his worst quality?
"His best quality, I guess, is that he's determined to find the one he loves, someone who loves him for who he is and not just because he's a prince. His worst quality is that he's a bit stupid - he forgets to ask Cinderella for her name...twice! It's like the lights are on, but nobody's home! [laughs] That's why he keeps Dandini around - Dandini does a lot of the thinking for him!"

I can't disagree with that...and not just because I'm Dandini! But Prince Charming is, thankfully, charming enough to make up for it - except for his chat-up lines! 
"What are you saying? I think his chat-up lines are amazing!"

They're really not! But what about you? Do you have any favourite chat-up lines in your arsenal?
"Yes, I do!"

I'm listening...
"Do you believe in love at first sight? ...Or do you want me to walk by again?"

...Moving swiftly on! How would you describe rehearsals with the Strollers?
"Fantastically superbly amazing!"

Well, that's pretty good then! As for the show itself, why should people come and see Cinderella?
"If they didn't, they'd be doing themselves a great disservice, it is such an amazing show already. We just have this amazing cast, amazing chorus, it's just a phenomenal show - everyone has to see it, without a doubt."

Without a doubt, Cinderella is a really popular pantomime story - what's your favourite pantomime story and why?
"Without sounding too biased, I would have to say that it's actually Cinderella. It's the amazing characters, the great story, and it's the one I grew up with - it was the first pantomime I saw, and it was the Strollers I saw doing it, so it's got a special place in my heart."


Catch Ches at his most Charming by booking your tickets to see Cinderella at Medina Theatre on February 10th, 11th and 17th - tickets are available by phoning 01983 823884, in person at the box office or by visiting the Medina Theatre website.

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