John Savournin is both an opera singer and director, currently starring in and directing the Charles Court Opera’s pantomime King Tut at the King’s Head theatre. This is the third year consecutively of the much-loved CCO panto at the King’s Head (currently featuring on the Stage Top 10 and Time Out Top 5 pantos to see), so we caught up with John to have a chat about this year’s offering – the mysteriously-named King Tut.
Tell us a bit about King Tut?
The Egyptian theme has given us lots to play with – glittering costumes and set, pharaohs, pyramids, mummies – it tells a (rather fictional) story of historian Howard Carter as he discovers something rather magical about the tomb of Tutankhamun.
What’s unique about a CCO Panto?
It’s a small panto with a big heart, and is panto with a difference – always original stories, with off piste humour, and littered with crunchy arrangements of songs old and new. If you want to change up your panto experience, this is a good place to come to.
What keeps CCO and yourself coming back to panto every year?
It’s a great way to let your hair down and get really creative. The audience in that tiny space makes for a riotous night every night, and it’s always a pleasure.
You’re both starring in and directing King Tut – how do you balance the two, and what do you think it allows you to bring to the production?
I find that directing and singing are a good match – I learn a lot from other directors as a singer, and feel I have a good idea what I can ask of a cast, being a performer myself. Doing both at once is a challenge, but it certainly keeps things interesting! I have to be quite strict with myself about what is on the to do list and whether or not I need to attend to everything myself. As a good friend, and the ex Artistic Director of the Rosemary Branch, Cecilia Darker, once said “Delegation is an art form.”
Anything else you want us to know?
Perhaps bring a hanky – there are some moments that might make you cry (not always of laugher!).
King Tut is currently playing at the King’s Head Theatre from the 24th of November to the 6th of January. More information can be found on the Charles Court Opera website here.