|Can you guess where I am going? Did you guess? Yes I am going to the pantomime. Oh I do love a good panto!! Oh yes I do!!
I have been going to Pantomimes since I was a little dot. Okay I am still little but it was when I was still in pigtails!! Okay, let’s not go there!!
With my birthday being at Christmas I was always taken, with family and friends, to see the Pantomime. I am sure I have seen most of them over the years. One I particularly remember was with Dana playing Snow White in Hull. Dana is an Irish singer and she sang in the Eurovision in 1970. She became a big household name in the 70’s and 80’s. I think it was about 1983 that I was taken to the pantomime staring Dana and she just looked like the typical Snow White. I know this over pantomime was so popular the run kept being extended, long into the next year.
I also chose to see a pantomime for my 21st birthday. I travelled to Sheffield, by train, to watch my idol Danny La Rue perform in Aladdin, with Les Dennis and Amanda Holden, (when they were still in love, aww)
I was, as always, mesmerised by Danny la Rue, but it still did not escape my knowledge that Aladdin was played by a man!! Noooo!!! A female in pantomime tradition should play the principal boy, preferably in thigh boots and a slap of the thighs.
Sadly this seems to be have changed and the trend and is more often characters played by gender appropriate actors.
I love the familiarity of Pantomime. It is not like other shows when you do not know the format, or what may happen. It does not matter if it is Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk or Puss in Boots there will always be a dame. A man dressed as a woman in outlandish costumes and usually they have the best script of the show. There will be a villain who usually turns nice by the end, to show that good over comes evil. A main princess and her sidekick, A main male (which if I had my way would also be a woman, but we have already gone there!!) and their sidekick and a fairy. At least one slapstick routine, a dance sequence, repeated phrases ‘It’s behind you’, ‘Oh no you don’t, Oh yes I do’, ‘It is, it is, it is. It isn’t, it isn’t, it isn’t’. A mixture of children favourite songs and up to date pop songs and local and TV or film trivia references.
There is a bit were they have at least a couple of children on stage to join in a song or ditty and this is usually to give the actors and stagehands enough time to set up the finale, oh and I must not forget the ghost! There is always a ghost!!
I went on stage quite a few times at the pantomime and one I particular remember was to sing ‘Gilly, Gilly, Ossenfefer, Katzenellen Bogan by the sea’.
I am proud to say I can still sing it now! Go on, ask me!!
As you can tell I really do love panto so I was very excited to go and see the pantomime at the Parkway Cinema, Cleethorpes.
I have been a few times over the years and never been disappointed. It is good old fashioned fun. This year they were presenting ‘Aladdin’
I was very impressed with the scenery and a lot of the budget seemed to have gone on this and Widow Twankey’s costumes!! The Dame held the show together and brought many of the laughs. I felt the villain had just the right amount of evil, to warrant the boos but had a nicer side under the surface. I particularly thought the cave scene was well constructed and I loved the puppets. I could had watched them for longer. The slapstick washer scene was delightfully bizarre.
I wish the princess had had a little bit more elaborate costume as well as the genie. He was announced on stage with more of a poof than a bang!
I did enjoy the range of songs and often the Princess song can often be a little boring, but because it was ‘Let it go’ from Frozen, lots of little voices sang a long. Abba’s classic ‘Money, Money, Money’ was one of my favourites and loved the reprise at the end. We were dancing in the aisles, literally!!
I found the double entendres very funny, just my sort of humour, very Mrs Slocombe’s Pussy!!
We joined in all the time, Booing, cheering, singing and laughing. There was a point though when Aladdin seemed so thick we thought, why are we trying to save him?!!
At the end various people of the audience came and said myself and my friends should be paid to go to pantomimes as we got everybody joining in and had more fun with us there!! I do not know if it is that people do not go to variety shows and are used to sitting in front of television, with no interaction or people are now too embarrassed about showing themselves up!
Luckily I . So if do not have that problem so if you are producing a pantomime and want to employ some audience participation ‘encourager’ (Okay I would think of a better job description title ) then please do not ‘hesitate to get in touch!!
I can not wait to see what Pantomimes will be presented in the future but I am safe that what ever it is I highly recommend you go to forget your troubles, if only for a couple of hours and allow you to remember the time you truly believed dreams do come true!!
Sparkle Hugs and Glitter Kisses xxx