Panto blog For those of you not based in the UK, you may have never come across a Pantomime (Panto for short) so first of all, I thought a definition is called for. Wikipedia provides the following but that is only part of the story: “Pantomime (informally panto), is a type of musical comedy stage production, designed for family entertainment.
It was developed in England and is generally performed during the Christmas and New Year season.” Most pantos are based around a fairy tail, such as Cinderella or Puss in Boots and as Wikipedia says, is family entertainment although it does make it funnier if some of the leading female parts are played by men and of course the other way around as can be seen from the 2nd picture!
On our little island of 80,000 or so people, we are blessed with many good actors and singers some of whom can be seen on stage in the various Pantos that perform at this time of year.
The Peel Pantoloons is one such group and as their name suggests, is based in Peel on the West Coast of the Isle of Man. The Panto this year was Cinderella and was very capably directed by my daughter, Mel Read.
OK, I am of course biased in that last statement but judging by the comments that she received both verbally and on the group’s Facebook page this was the best Panto they had put on and was a sell out for 4 of the 7 performances.
Hilarity reigned supreme in the performances especially by the two ugly sisters and Buttons who all more or less stuck to the story of Cinderella, albeit with many impromptu deviations.
As always, there was lots of audience contributions of “it’s behind you” or “oh no it isn’t” in response to “oh yes it is”.
Sadly, the two photos do not do the whole performance justice, I was helping front and backstage so really didn’t have time to take photos.
Obviously you need good actors, singers, set designers, music, lighting, costumes, props etc. but it is amazing what can be done with a cast of about 20, age ranged from 7 to c40 all of whom give their time free of charge.
The best comments this year were from someone who wondered how many of the cast were professionals imported from the UK for the show (answer: none) and a young lad on the way out after a performance who just said “that was seriously awesome”.
If you get a chance to see a Panto, do so, you – hopefully – won’t be disappointed!
Tickets for 2015 Peel Panto will go on sale sometime in early November but for now, scripts are being read so as to choose this year’s Panto.