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Exeter panto Dame standing in General Election

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 6:36am

By Daniel Clark, Local Democracy Reporting Service

“Oh, no she isn’t!” “Oh, yes she is.”

Dame Belladone is taking time out from terrorising Snow White at the Exeter Corn Exchange to attempt to become Exeter’s MP.

She knows that she would fit in perfectly in parliament – which can sometimes look a little bit like an over-the-top pantomime – and she adores it when audiences hiss and boo her actions.

Daniel Page, who plays the Pantomime Dame, said that him standing for Parliament is a bit of a publicity stunt to promote, but has a serious message behind it to try and make sure people get out to vote.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, he said: “Just when it looked like Christmas would be ruined by those notorious Scrooges in the House of Commons, Dame Belladone of Snow White has arrived to save Christmas.

“This is the first time in history the voting public has had the opportunity to show pantomime dames the respect they deserve.

“It is a bit of a publicity stunt. It is a Christmas election and we thought it would be a fun idea to put ourselves out there and get some promotion, as there is no bigger pantomime that Westminster.”

He said that it is also a way of ‘getting their own back’ on Parliament as the performance scheduled for the evening of Thursday, December 12, has had to be cancelled as the Corn Exchange will be used for the election count.

Mr Page said: “People can vote for whoever they want and they can vote for me if they want as a bit of a protest vote, but the main message is that people need to go out and get registered to vote.

“You don’t need to vote for me, because you can buy a ticket to see me in Snow White at the Exeter Corn Exchange, but you do need to vote for somebody.”

The 44-year-old was born and raised in Exeter before moving to London to become an actor, and has appeared seven times back in the city in Pantomime.

This is not the first time he has stood for election, having stood in local council elections in London, but he added that if he were to win, then he would take the job seriously, act as an Independent, and make decisions based on each issue.

He added: “Politics is something that I care about and is abit of a passion. I was either going to be an actor, lawyer or a politician, but the greatest actors are politicians.”

Speaking about Exeter, he said that he thinks the city should have a theatre akin to the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. He said: “It would be of huge benefit to the city as for every pound spent in the theatre, they spend about £4 in the rest of the area.”

And he also added to the criticism of the new St Sidwell’s Point leisure centre being built on the site on the Exeter bus station.

He said: “I’m not a fan of it and the pool only be 25m long. We have an international rugby stadium so we should be having a 50m pool in which we can host events and championship and that would bring people to the area.”

Other candidates standing in Exeter are Ben Bradshaw (Labour), John Gray (Conservatives), Joe Levy (Green), Duncan Odgers (UKIP) and Leslie Willis (Brexit Party).

Snow White takes place at the Exeter Corn Exchange from Saturday, December 7, to Wednesday, January 1.

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