Ahead of his trip to the UAE, Tom Allenby is excited. For one, he’s bringing a favourite to the stage: Aliens Love Underpants, adapted from a children’s book by authors Claire Freedm and Ben Cort. [He calls it “a paaaaantastic party of pants pandemonium” and “epic”.] The play runs at Dubai’s Madinat Theatre on October 12 and at Abu Dhabi Theatre on October 14.
It’s the tale of a seven-year-old called Timmy — who is obsessed with all things science and space and who sees aliens stealing underpants from a washing line.
Red-haired and freckle faced, Allenby who plays the lead, calls the show — touted to be silly, funny and magical — clever. “There are a few different morals you can take away with you. For my character though, perhaps the most important would be to pay attention in school and to not be afraid to do the things you really love doing, even if others don’t agree, because the smallest people can often make the biggest difference,” he explains.
For another, he’s visiting the UAE for the first time. “I can’t wait to visit the UAE — I’ve never been before, but my friends who have travelled there have said it’s a brilliant place to be. We’re not with you for too long, but we’re going to try and fit in as many trips and experience as much of the culture as we can. I’d love to learn some of the language. Desert safari and the water park, I’m particularly excited about those,” he says.
Allenby’s year is off to a glowing start, but there’s so much more to come. His movie, The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, which features Keira Knightley, is out in the next two months.
He calls working on it magical — if a tad intimidating. “That was my first job after finishing drama school [in 2007],” he says. “It was a magical experience. I filmed at Pinewood Studios, and all the sets were so realistic… The most challenging thing was dealing with the pressure of being on the same set as people like Keira Knightley, and also acting in front of a green screen and CGI as I’d never done that before.”
So what’s next for the actor? He’s already auditioning for other stage roles, but now he’s focused. “I’m so excited to travel to your part of the world, so not thinking too far ahead,” he says.
Don’t miss it!
Tickets to Aliens Love Underpants, which runs at Madinat Theatre on October 12 and Abu Dhabi Theatre on October 14, are Dh100.