This time he gets to be the bad guy

Matthew Turnbull from Seaton carew, who is playing the character Fleshcreep in panto at the Billingham Forum.
Matthew Turnbull from Seaton carew, who is playing the character Fleshcreep in panto at the Billingham Forum.

The 34-year-old from Hartlepool is returning to pantomime for the first time in years.

He has landed the role of Fleshcreep in the Billingham Forum Theatre production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

And the reason he’s decided to return to the spotlight is his two young boys Dylan, aged six, and Ben, aged four, are now old enough to watch Daddy.

Matthew, who lives in Seaton Carew, can’t wait to get started on the show which runs from December 8 to January 6, even though it means combining two jobs.

By day, he’s a performing arts drama teacher at Grangefield Specialist Technology College, in Stockton.

By night, he will be the baddie in the Forum production.

“I am going to be pretty tired come next January,” said Matthew, who is married to Kelly, 34, who works as a nurse in Thornaby.

“But it’s going to be a good tired,” he added.

This isn’t the first time he has played the role of Fleshcreep. Matthew has starred in panto before around five years ago.

But then came his young family as well as work commitments and Matthew had to take his leave from the spotlight for a while.

He said: “I have done nothing on stage for three years so I am pretty excited. My little boys are old enough now to understand what daddy is doing. It is exciting that they will get to see what I do.”

But as well as performing in panto this year, Matthew will also be spending part of each day at the school where he teaches.

He thanked his bosses for giving him the time to manage both tasks and now he can’t wait to get into character.

“I have done all the chivalrous parts before and the goody parts before and they are great. But the baddie is a role where you can really have a rapport with the audience.

“They love to hate you. Fleshcreep is a sort of mix between Fagin and the Child Catcher and he tries to steal people to feed to the giant.

“I get to sing all the bad guy songs.”

Matthew has also previously hit the Hartlepool Mail headlines after taking on a triathlon challenge for charity.

Anyone wanting to catch the panto should get along between December 8 and January 6.

Stars of the show also include Hayley Tamaddon, formerly of Emmerdale and Dancing On Ice, Ben Ryan Davies, from Waterloo Road, and world-renowned clown Charlie Cairoli Junior.

For tickets and more details, contact the theatre box office on (01642) 552663.