Blackpool fans are no strangers to drama. The Seasiders' are preparing for a second Championship Play-Off final showdown in three years, which of course was sandwiched by a rollercoaster season in the Premier League in 2010/11.

Yet some supporters are more accustomed to the theatre that Ian Holloway and his team brings than others.

Take Shrek star, Dean Chisnall, for example. The fanatical Seasider has appeared in the West End - most recently as Shrek, which is now showing at the Theatre Royal at Drury Lane - and has also appeared on television.

"I was born in Ormskirk, which is just down the west coast from Blackpool so I've always been a fan. I was brought up with them.

"I can remember watching them at a very young age when Billy Ayre, who is sadly no longer with us, was manager and quite a close family friend, and that's how I got into them. My brother and my dad are also big Blackpool fans and we have followed them together. It's a big family affair."

Chisnall continues to watch his beloved team when he can, although the other love of his life - acting - means he can't always make it to games. Chisnall boasts an impressive CV having already starred in Evita, Love Never Dies, La Cage Aux Folles and Never Forget before landing his current role. Yet the price of his success means he has only managed three games 2011/12, not including the recent Play-Off semi-finals.

"I used to be a season ticket holder but obviously things are a lot more difficult now because of my job. But I'm loving it [Shrek], it's certainly the biggest thing to happen in my career. It's a wonderful part to play and it's a great company to work for.

"My days off are Tuesdays, so I tend to go to any games that are relatively close on those evenings. Sadly, the only games I got to go to were at Coventry, Derby and Leicester… and we got a solitary point at Coventry!"

Luckily, Chisnall isn't the only thespian interested in football, which means keeping up with results when he's working isn't a problem.

"The main game day is of course Saturday but for me that means matinee and an evening show. Saturdays are fraught with the phone in my dressing room. As soon as I get off the stage I want to know what the score is.

"I've got a woman on the stage door who always looks out for the scores for me and I've got messages coming from left, right and centre when I'm on stage. When it's the interval or the end of the show I'm straight onto the computer or the phone, looking to see if we have managed to win.

"Amanda Holden was princess Fiona last year and she is a massive Everton fan. Also Neil McDermott, who was in EastEnders, is now in the show and he's also an Everton fan so we had a lot of football banter. My very good friend Nigel Harmon, who left not too long ago, is a Crystal Palace fan so I always have good Championship banter with him.

"One of my very good friends who's in the show is a big Birmingham fan and we made a promise that we wouldn't look at the score last week, he came in on Thursday morning feeling very sorry for himself. I didn't get to see either of the semi-finals but I avoided the score, the phone was off and I recorded both of them. Sitting through the second leg was the most painful evening of my life. When Birmingham scored the second goal I had to watch it on fast forward to see what happened."

Although Chisnall doesn't attend as many matches as he'd like, he wouldn't swap jobs. And while he may have missed the Birmingham City head-to-head, he's not missing Wembley and West Ham United.

"If someone told me I would play a lead role in a West End musical at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and I had to sacrifice watching my team play football, that's just the way it is. This is my living and I absolutely love what I do. I wouldn't change that for the world.

"I've been in Shrek since the show opened last May, a year ago last Sunday, and I was understudying the role for the 12 months previous. I made it apparent that I wanted to take over and low and behold they gave it to me.

"Sometimes you have to make sacrifices and the one I have to make is watching my football team. But, if it means I get to do what I want to do which has always been my life ambition, then that's a pretty decent situation to be in.

"Don't you worry about the final, though, I've got a ticket. I'll be there. I booked the day off a good few months ago, long before we made the top six. I just thought, 'do you know what? If we don't make it I'll go and play some golf or cricket.' But we made it and I can't wait to get there."

He heads to north London thinking the Seasiders are underdogs but admits he wouldn't be surprised if his team upstaged the Hammers.

"We [Blackpool] are very comfortable at being big underdogs and I think we are even more of an underdog than we were two years ago against Cardiff.

"I don't hold that much hope, that's not being pessimistic just realistic. Of course I would love us to do it but if we don't just getting to Wembley this year is such an incredible achievement.

"Obviously West Ham have an awful lot of talent in their side, as have we, but I haven't seen many football teams with the spirit and character we've got.

"Ian Holloway will go for it, no matter what. The job he has done to even get us there, I don't think anybody thought that was possible after coming down last season. They just keep pulling things out of the bag and I don't know how they do it. Obviously I was there two years ago when they beat Cardiff, the spirit, the determination and the grit means so much more than the talent."

And should Blackpool pull off another sensational result, Chisnall believes it would eclipse the club's recent achievements.

"This is a bigger than two years ago. We had Charlie Adam, DJ Campbell - who moved on to QPR - as well as the unsung hero of the league in David Vaughan, who went to Sunderland in the close season. To lose those three players, the three players Holloway based the whole team around, was huge. To be honest with you it's nothing short of miraculous this time around.

"Ian Holloway is an eccentric but it is evident he is a very, very good manager. He knows what he's talking about and he knows his football. It took him nearly half of this season to get over last year but the way he has turned it around, I can't say enough about the bloke, I think he has been absolutely incredible."

Holloway isn't the only eccentric, as Chisnall admits his life is also unpredictable, much like his club.

"I guess you could talk parallels between the two. I get paid to entertain, it's my job, it's my livelihood, and I think that's the way Ian Holloway sees his players and his attitude towards the game."

More importantly, Chisnall wouldn't have it any other way.

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