In our second instalment about the magical Shrewsbury Christmas Film 2021, we speak to mum of one its stars, Karina Davies, whose son Patrick (12) shines as the little Drummer Boy. He's a drummer in real life and you might also have seen him playing one of the lead characters, Michael Hobbs, in Elf at Theatre Severn recently. Karina writes...
When we saw the casting information published online, I assumed it would be for a younger boy, so initially Patrick was tentative about putting his name forward. He’s worked with Aaron Child from Painted Life earlier in the year, for the Oswestry Bid short film, so we know how fantastic his productions are. We just assumed that Patrick would be too old to be a drummer boy.
We actually found out later during filming, from the casting director James Broxton, that Aaron actually had Patrick in mind when writing the drummer boy character, so we were very pleased we had submitted his audition tape. Once cast, Patrick had a small influence in the decision making, casting the featured young girl in the film.
The auditions took place at the Get Your Wigle on studio, Patrick was there and the audition material involved him interacting with each girl who auditioned. It was a difficult decision, but Olivia (pictured here) was chosen as having the best chemistry with Patrick, and was duly cast (he had mentioned that she was his favourite!). Her contribution to the film was immense, she captures the audience immediately. She was amazing.
The filming was done in several phases on different days throughout October and November. Patrick was invited along to various locations with all the other local acting and musical talent to film his part. All members of the cast loved getting into the Christmas spirit, singing Christmas songs and wearing Christmas jumpers and Santa hats. It brought warmth to the chilly evening spent in Shrewsbury Town centre.
The reactions when the snow fell were genuine, and really lit up the atmosphere. Aaron and all of the creative people involved in the film were amazing, and Patrick loves spending time with them. We really hope that he will have more opportunities to film with Painted Life in the future.
Patrick's most memorable moments were having the wires stuffed through his costume by Adam, the technical expert, in order for the magic drumsticks to work. Patrick had a dial on the sticks which meant he could really make the magic happen in real time during the take. Another memory for Patrick was the endless supply of snacks on location, as James and Aaron know him so well and knew exactly how to keep him motivated. Lots of cakes, chocolate and pizza!
Patrick says he found the evening outside in Shrewsbury really cold and was jealous of the rest of the cast in their warm coats, hats and gloves. The drummer boy costume looked brilliant, but gave no protection against the dropping temperatures. He came home with a warm heart and a frozen smile!
Patrick is a drummer in real life. He owns a drum kit at home and has weekly drum lessons locally with the amazing Andy Wish. His transition to drummer boy was all the more seamless thanks to his talent. He spends most of the day tapping on something much to the annoyance of those around him! He hopes to become a professional drummer.
It must be said that, for Patrick, opportunities like this are always very special, he takes nothing for granted. He absolutely lives for every moment in front of the camera and always feels grateful for the roles he’s given. He has been given the most incredible amount of support from his second family at the musical theatre company Get Your Wigle on - GYWO (I think Patrick would refer to them as his 1st family). Patrick has been a member of GYWO since he was eight and has performed in over 10 musical productions at Theatre Severn, the latest was as Michael, in Elf.
Next year, Patrick will be performing as Bruce in Matilda and Adrian in Adrian Mole. If you ask Patrick what he thinks about it all, he’ll tell you it was amazing and he never wants it to stop. Acting, singing and music is his dream, Spiderman would his dream role. Getting from Drummer boy to Spiderman is his challenge. A massive thank you to James and Aaron for getting him one step closer to the dream.
You can read more about this wonderful film and see the video HERE