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Blog: A Life In Panto

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We went to the PANTO on Saturday night, and it was ACE. OH YES IT WAS (etc etc).

The Answers In My Quiz had won the tickets in a competition so we thought "HEY! Let's DO it!" Beforehand we discussed whether either of us had actually BEEN to a Panto before - I have a very vague memory of going to see one in a Village Hall somewhere near Deeping St James when I was TINY, but that's about it. I guess it doesn't really matter though, as Panto is SO ingrained in the British PSYCHE that we all know how it goes whether we've ever been or not. As we would discover, it is PARTICULARLY burned into MY psyche!

Once we were in our seats we found the Theatrical Experience to be VERY different from the norm. Usually when ONE is in The Theatre one gets right fed up with other people making NOISE or moving about, but this time there was no choice but to go with it. It was like a big wedding, with hundreds of excitable kids SHOUTING and moving around and calling to each other and joining in and generally causing a RACKET. It was friendly and actually lovely - especially when you spotted the Nearly Teenagers trying to be ABOVE it all!

The show itself, being a panto, was very much DESIGNED for this sort of audience, with all the joining in and LOUD talking and BIG gags and SPEED. In fact, as it went along, I realised that every show Steve and I have ever done has been a PANTO, especially in the need to NEVER have a LULL where attention could drift. Also all the SONGS. Also the DAD JOKES. Also the DANCE ROUTINES. Also the... well, you get the idea. The weird effect of this realisation was that I found myself RE-WRITING the show as it went along, as if it was one of ours. "That joke is too quiet", I thought. "The melody of that song needs to be easier to sing along with." GUYS! Next year, CALL ME, I am ready to make panto!

Despite my EDITS it was all a LOT of fun, and I bet it was even LOVELIER before Christmas, when it would have been SUPER FESTIVE. I liked the fact that it had a TONNE of the Traditional Aspects Of Panto (a GRATE Dame, loads of silliness, some rude jokes for the parents ) but lots of EXTRA MODERN stuff (mega diverse cast, message of INDEPENDENCE at the end rather than marriage) without getting preachy. It was FUN!

Afterwards we strolled into The Village (I live in the former Olympic Athletes' Village - sorry if this is a surprise, I'm not sure I've mentioned it before?) and went to a NEW BAR what has just opened. They've been promising bars and the like ever since we moved in, so it's quite exciting to pop in now that they've finally opened, and it was ESPECIALLY thrilling to a) be the last people in there at closing time and b) to be able to walk home in 5 minutes. As we left we had a chat to the Landlord and told him we'd been to the Panto. "Is it behind you?" he asked. "It is now!" I said.

SERIOUSLY! Theatre Companies! I have SPACE in my diary for you!

posted 19/1/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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Seriously, write a panto!
posted 19/1/2016 by John K

I have always wanted to see a panto where 5 magic beans create a super hero or make a planet green and glorious!!
posted 19/1/2016 by

SURELY I've pointed out how panto our shows are on several many occasions???
posted 19/1/2016 by Steve

posted 20/1/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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