I knew something was amiss when the team TIDIED THE OFFICE. I nearly fell over in shock. “Chico’s coming up!! Here, to the office!” Sophie exclaimed, peering into her compact mirror and smoothing down her hair whilst Digital-Dude Adam scrambled around collecting as many digital devices as possible.
Such is the nature of theatre, you don’t ever really know what’ll happen next, but then, there was Chico (X-Factor, Chico-Time, Panto-star extraordinaire) at the doorway of our otherwise very ordinary office, all diamanté studded belt and snakeskin shoes with a thousand warm kisses for anyone who got close enough.
It was the Plymouth Christmas Light Switch on and Chico was this year’s SwitchOn-Celeb and we’d managed to bag him for an hour or so before he needed to be backstage outside Drake Circus. So after a quick chat about where to stay in Plymouth (any offers for Chico and his family, post below!), a minor drama when we realised Chico had left his bag on the train (anyone found a bag on the 11.06 from Paddington, post below!) and where to go for tea – Panto Campaign Manager, Ed and aforementioned Digital-Dude Adam, whizzed through a flurry of Chico-Time inspired photographs and videos to share with our panto fans.
Chico wasn’t shy on getting stuck in either – even taking a call at the Box Office and serving a coffee in the Cafe – I can just tell this panto is going to be FUN!
Then it was quick-smart up to Drake Circus for his performance and the main event. Bundled through the huge crowds to the backstage area, Chico met the Lord Mayor of Plymouth and shared more of his kisses with the Lady Mayoress before it was bro-fists all round with boy band Damage. He performs the unforgettable It’s Chico Time (after slightly delayed start – the backing CD wouldn’t play!) then gyrates his way through his new single.
Following a crowd-pleasing performance from Damage, Chico reappears with an ITV presenter – they need to do a rehearsal ‘cheer’ for the light switch on before switching to live broadcast and commencing the countdown.. Literally seconds after the transmission ends we whisk Chico away with the help of security – he has 10 minutes to get his train – and into the back of a waiting taxi.
Yeah, just another day at the office, as they say. But, they are rarely dull around here!
Book your tickets to see Chico as Jack in this year’s panto, Jack and the Beanstalk!