Peter Pan featuring American actor David Hasselhoff as Hoff The Hook continues to perform to packed audiences at Cardiff’s New Theatre.
Visitors to the show, will note that there are plenty of tongue in cheek references to Hasselhoff’s lengthy career including his TV hits KnightRider and Baywatch. “We don’t shy away from that in the show,” Hasselhoff tells Andy Howells, “we have the KnightRider car, we do a Baywatch scene and make jokes. These things are part of my life. People say “Why are you still putting on the Red Jacket? Why are you still playing Michael Knight?” and I say “Why Not?””
Of course, The Hoff, as he has become affectionately known to his legions of fans, has turned his hand to many roles over the years from a guest spot in the SpongeBob SquarePants movie to been a judge on America’s Got Talent. “That’s the key to success, staying current with the kids,” he says, “I did the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and the new Call of Duty game which is about killing zombies and not people. It’s really kept me current.”
Hasselhoff’s pantomime role, Hoff The Hook, adds further to Hasselhoff’s growing portfolio of performances and allows him to have fun with the audience. “Hoff the Hook is a funny guy,” he says, “he’s self-indulgent, very sensitive, on his own (and) no-one understands him. It’s really fun to play because it’s a great challenge not to scare the kids too much but to let them know that I am the Hook!”
Hasselhoff’s enthusiasm of the panto medium is undeterred despite recalling a stage mishap in Manchester whilst been elevated on a stage lift, “I was entering (the stage)while the audience were cheering “Hook! Hook! Hook!”, he laughs, “I was singing Hooked on A Feeling as I was going up on the lift. The lift got stuck and there was half a Hook, the whole audience and the song just kept on going. I had no idea what I was going to do as I couldn’t climb out or get down. I thought “Am I going to do the whole show from inside a stage lift?” but then they got it working and the audience didn’t even know the difference.”
Hasselhoff who will be taking the opportunity to spend time with his partner, Hayley Roberts and her family in Wales over Christmas is already looking ahead to the next pantomime. “I’ve already discussed doing one next year,” he confirms, “I’ve done seven pantos and broken six records and we’re already ahead on the previous pantos with ticket sales. It keeps me focussed during the holidays which is important.”
- Peter Pan which stars David Hasselhoff along with Mike Doyle as Mrs Smee runs until January 8. Visit newtheatrecardiff.co.uk for ticket details.
- Read Part 1 of Andy Howells interview with The Hoff
- Read Andy Howells review of Peter Pan