Horsham has become a hot favourite with Amanda Sim who makes her fourth panto appearance at The Capitol this Christmas.
She was the Slave of the Ring in Aladdin last year having previously appeared as Fairy Godmother in Cinderella and Alice Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington.
Now she’s back for Jack And The Beanstalk (December 8-January 2; tickets on 01403 750220 or www.thecapitolhorsham.com).
“It’s just such a friendly atmosphere at the theatre there. I love it. Everyone is friendly, front of house, backstage, everyone.
“I have been really lucky with the shows I have done in the West End and on tour, that I have been in great venues. But sometimes there is the odd show or maybe place that you go to that isn’t quite so good, and then you really notice it when you go to a good one. Every time I get the call from Horsham, I just think yes.”
It’s the management that’s the key when you’re looking for a happy theatre: “I think it starts from there. Michael at the Capitol is so lovely. He is so helpful and loves theatre.”
Panto still comes as a bit of a shock to the system, though, Amanda admits - two shows a day.
“But it is short and sweet, and it is lovely to be entertaining children as a mother myself.”
Amanda is mum to five-year-old Louie who is no stranger to theatres: “He came to see me in Horsham when he was one and a half. I remember going on stage and hearing him say ‘Mummy!’ He had to be taken out of the auditorium!
“Since then, he has managed to see quite a few of the things I have done.”
So if he decides to follow in her footsteps?
“If that’s that he wants to do, then I would support him all the way. But actually, he is so bossy that I think he would be a director rather than an actor!”
Amanda’s first job in the business was Singin’ In The Rain with Paul Nicholas, directed by Tommy Steele. She then went into Evita and then into Grease.
Since then, the bulk of her experience has been in the musicals - though straight theatre is certainly something she would like to explore more of, she says.
“Now that Louie is a bit older!”