Up close with Matt Slack who is a regular star in Birmingham’s Pantoland and is currently ripping it up as Idle Jack at the Hippodrome
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m Matt Slack, comedian/actor and appearing as Idle Jack in the pantomime Dick Whittington at Birmingham Hippodrome.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
I walk to Birmingham Hippodrome and sometimes ride my Brompton fold-up bike. The flat I rent for the panto period is only five minutes away… just enough time to wake up before the madness of a two-show day!
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
I commute in from London so usually the train and it’s perfect. Its super-quick to New Street station. The improvements with Grand Central are absolutely stunning
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
It’s a thriving city with a lovely vibe. It has all the elements of old and new. Whether it be shopping or dining out, there’s something for everyone.
The schedule for panto is very intense so not a great deal of time for breaks. From the rehearsal period to the technical rehearsals and finally show time it’s pretty full on. With two shows a day it’s nice to have such great facilities within the theatre itself so all your needs are catered for. However, a hot tub in the dressing room would be nice! Too much to ask?
The Green Room at the theatre provides food daily but it is nice to get out and about once in a while. The Chinese Restaurant Ken Ho at the bottom of Hurst Street is a favourite of mine. I keep meaning to pay a visit to Glyn Purnell’s bistro but it’s normally closed on my day off. He’s a big fan of panto and I’m sure I’ll be a fan of his food.
I power sleep!
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
I love the canalside and Brindleyplace. That’s where I like to walk and unwind on my day off. The contrast between the ultra-modern designer stores in the Mailbox leading to the canal sums up Brum for me. Plus I’m a huge Peaky Blinders fan so it’s a really special atmosphere!
I’ll often go for a pint in the pub opposite the theatre. However, my favourite place is a little pub and I mean tiny, right on the canal. It’s called the Canalside Café and I sometimes pop in on my day off.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
I honestly can’t answer that one but what does make it a great city in my opinion is the people that live here! I’ve never felt more welcome than when I’m in Brum!