Westminster theatrics have prompted a pantomime dame to stand for Parliament in Exeter.
Dame Belladone is taking time out from terrorising Snow White on-stage at the Corn Exchange to vie for votes in the city.
The actor behind the colourful character, 44-year-old Daniel Page, says the move is a ‘a bit of a publicity stunt’ with a serious message.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service this week, Daniel said: “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 than Westminster.
“This is the first time in history the voting public has had the opportunity to show pantomime dames the respect they deserve.”
Daniel said that the stunt was also a way for the show’s organisers to ‘get their own back’ on Parliament – as they had to cancel the performance scheduled for the evening of Thursday, December 12.
This is because the Corn Exchange, in Market Street, will be used for the election count.
Daniel added: “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, but you do need to vote for somebody.”
Exeter-born and raised Daniel moved to London to become an actor and has returned to the city seven times to appear in pantomime.
He has previously stood in local council elections in London.
Daniel 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 said: “Politics is something that I care about and is a bit of a passion.
“I was either going to be an actor, lawyer or a politician, but the greatest actors are politicians.”
Speaking about Exeter, Daniel said he thinks the city should have a venue akin to the Theatre Royal in Plymouth.
He added: “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.”
Daniel also criticised the new St Sidwell’s Point leisure centre being built on the Exeter Bus Station site.
He said: “I’m not a fan of it and the pool will 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.