It’s just as well Australian soap star Ryan Moloney is familiar with the role of Idle Jack in Dick Whittington.
Owing to visa problems, he had only three days of rehearsals before the pantomime opened at Dunstable’s Grove Theatre on Friday.
But no-one would have guessed from his side-splitting performance.
The popular television personality – who plays Jarrod ‘Toadfish’ Rebecchi in Neighbours – credits Leon Craig, aka Sarah the Cook, with his success.
He said: “Panto’s fun but it’s a lot of hard work. Leon’s brilliant. He’s such a professional and puts so much energy into it. He was such a big help. He’s also got a fantastic voice.”
Ryan relishes the fact that when the show’s over, there are no more lines to learn. With Neighbours, there’s always another scene, another script.
Fans will be pleased to know that ‘Toadie’ is about to sign a two year contract.
But the bad news is he’s always wanted to be a pilot and is well on the way to earning his commercial licence.
And there’s a possibilty - oh yes there is - that he may ditch the TV career to follow his dream.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was a kid,” he said. “But I’ll decide nearer the time, whatever takes my fancy.”
Ryan is in Britain with his wife Alison and their family – daughter Erin, seven, and five-year-old son Jack, who came to the opening night. “It’s the first time they’ve been to a panto and they thought it was brilliant,” their proud dad smiled.
The Melboourne-based actor – nominated for a Golden Rose of Montreux award for his role in the Aussie soap – was a celebrity guest at Keech Hospice Care’s Santa Fun Run on Sunday.
> Dick Whittington runs until January 5. Call the Box Office on 01582 602080.