Children’s TV legend brings a new Santa show to Vic

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Iain Lauchlan will be a familiar face to many who watched children’s television in the 1980s as the presenter of Fingermouse, Play School and Playdays.

He also created the Tweenies, as well as the hugely successful Jim Jam and Sunny, Boo, Fun Song Factory and Playdays.

Iain is the Creative Director for Imagine Theatre, who have produced the pantomime at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax for the past sixyears.This Christmas, in addition to pantomime, Imagine Theatre has created a show for pre-school children called Santa’s Dizzy Day, written by Iain. Here he completes a short question and answer session with My Week.

Tell us about your new show and why you were inspired to write it?

Every year when I am performing panto I see lots of very young pre-school children ending up in the foyer and missing the panto because it is just too scary for them. It is not a good introduction the theatre for them. So I decided that I should write a show which is specifically pitched for them which has all the elements that they like. And who better than Santa, Rudolf and an elf.

Do you have one present in particular that Santa brought you as a child that was particularly memorable?

I remember getting my electric train set. I loved playing with it.

Does your family have any unique festive family traditions?

I do remember when we were growing up, my sisters and I would always act out our own nativity on Christmas night. Do you think live entertainment for children has changed much since you started out in the business?

Live entertainment has become much more sophisticated but the content of the shows like telling a story has not altered at all. Pre-school children are very much the same today as they were years ago. They are still exploring the world around them having new experiences every day and learning about themselves and their own culture. It isn’t till they go to school they will start to become more worldly

What has been your most memorable showbiz moment?

My most memorable moment was when I wrote and directed the first ever Tweenies arena show.

What else are you working on at the moment or in the near future?

I am about to start my own pre-school Internet Channel. It will be called Cheeky Chimps TV online.

Santa’s Dizzy Day is fun interactive show for pre-school children, in which they also have the opportunity to give their letter direct to Santa and to receive a gift from him.Itruns for three days only from December 4-6. Info from Victoria Theatre box office on 01422 351158 or visit www.victoriatheatre.co.uk