Luxe catches up with the queen of comedy, Miss Rory, on all things Christmas ahead of her panto role as ‘Rorina La Plonk’ in Beauty and The Beast at Sunderland Empire this December…
My typical Christmas day routine…
It tends to start and finish with food – with more food in the middle. We have a nice breakfast, and lounge around for most of the morning, then go over to my parents’ house with the family for lunch, swiftly followed by tea.
Then back home for the all-important Eastenders Christmas episode, then a little bite to eat… then bed!
Miss Rory will be spending Christmas at…
This year, for the first year ever, in my own home. We usually go to my parents’, but we decided to host this year as we’ve just bought a new house with ample room for entertaining.
My husband, Chris, is an amazing cook, so he’ll be busy in the kitchen. I’ll be clock watching to make sure everyone’s out before (you guessed it) Eastenders. I’m thinking of installing a klaxon to signal departures… I’d hate to come across as rude.
Miss Rory And Christmas traditions…
I’ve always worked over the Christmas season – and I’ve been lucky enough to spend Christmas working at Sunderland Empire since 2019. So, I suppose that’s now my tradition – and I love it. We get to be a huge part of other people’s Christmas traditions now, and in turn, they become part of ours. I take November off before rehearsals start and we tend to go away (usually New York) so I get a bit of relaxation and the festive spirit over there.
Treasured Christmas memory?
Every Christmas, especially Christmas Day, is special. Spending time with family, relaxing and having a good time is very precious. My skin is also grateful, as I don’t have to shave!
Your perfect Christmas dinner?
No cranberry, I just can’t get away with it. Other than that, chuck it all on. There’s a yearly debate as to whether Yorkshire puddings belong on a Christmas dinner. I shan’t get into that. But I would pose the question as to whether anyone actually likes turkey – or do we just eat it because we’re supposed to?
My Christmas decor…
My husband, for all that he isn’t a ‘Christmassy’ type, takes full control with the trees. We have two – a large one in the sitting room, simply dressed in lights. Then the ‘pièce de résistance’ in the dining room – a really traditional American vintage sort of affair – reds, whites and greens with a lot of glass ornaments. I’m a big fan of a poinsettia too, so there’s usually quite a few of them dotted around the place.
Favourite Christmas song?
After years of playing Christmas songs at Boulevard, I’ve desensitised myself to them. I hear the first bars of Mariah Carey and break out into a cold sweat. I do love a carol though.
Favourite Christmas film?
Santa Clause the Movie is an absolute classic and one I’ve watched every year since I can remember.
Favourite thing about the festive period?
It has to be panto. The whole process is exhilarating – seeing a show come together in just a couple of weeks, and creating something really special, at a really special time of year.
Your festive season is of course very busy with your panto schedule, tell us a little bit about your role in Beauty and The Beast this year and what families can expect?
This year I’ll be ‘Rorina La Plonk’, she’s the housekeeper at the Beast’s castle, and mother to Louis (my hilarious panto partner, Tom Whalley). She’s sassy, a bit glam and very funny. This is going to be a spectacular production – full of heart, laughs and magic.
Favourite thing about panto?
All of it! It’s hard work, but extremely rewarding. We’re not saving lives, but we are making people happy – which in my eyes is extremely important at the moment.
Finally, what are your three luxe things in life?
Travel and socialising – I love to get away, both with my husband and with our friends; or just go somewhere really nice when we’re home – Khai Khai in Newcastle is an absolute favourite. So I suppose that’s three?