Fun On The High Seas - Robinson Crusoe opens

Daily Echo: Lesley Joseph as The Enchantress of the Ocean in Robinson Crusoe Lesley Joseph as The Enchantress of the Ocean in Robinson Crusoe

A STAR of stage and screen, Lesley Joseph is a busy woman – one of the reasons pantomime suits her so perfectly.

Birds of a Feather, the 90s sitcom for which she is still best known, is enjoying a TV comeback following a successful stage revival last year.

But, luckily for Southampton audiences, a part in The Mayflower’s pantomime Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates slots perfectly between filming and the show being aired once again in January.

“I love panto,” she says in her familiar voice.

“I love musicals as well, but it’s so difficult to invest a year of your life in something. Panto is perfect, you have a short lovely festive run of it and it’s magical.

“There’s magic, lights, music, dancing and singing and everyone has a wonderful time.”

Lesley stars alongside entertainer Brian Conley in the swashbuckling pantomime adventure, a repeat of last year’s Birmingham Hippodrome record breaker.

“It’s brilliant working with Brian. We both know how to work the audience and how to work with each other. It’s a real art, you have to know exactly when to play around and we have some great fun.”

Relationships have been what Lesley’s career has been based on – most importantly her rapport with fellow ‘Birds’ Linda Robson and Pauline Quirke.

“I adore them,” she smiles. They’re like family, we’ve worked together for so many years and it doesn’t get much better really.

“We’ve got on famously again lately and I hope the show goes down as well.

“The relationship was a big part of it.

No-one could have known how well we would get on, but I think we were also in the right place at the right time. The original Essex girls in the Thatcher years!”

Lesley plays the Enchantress of the Ocean in Robinson Crusoe, which opens for previews tonight and runs until Sunday, January 12.

  • Tickets are available here>>
  • For our review from Wednesday night’s panto opening proper, see Thursday’s Daily Echo.

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