scribbles tagged ‘pantomime’

it’s behind you…

Thursday, March 24th, 2011 | tags: ,  |

Bath Theatre RoyalRichard Holland used my photograph of the Bath Theatre Royal to illustrate a ghost story. He’s a professional who has written 5 books, worked as an editor, met Michael Bentine and has a website for sharing ghost stories. How fabulous is that?! It’s really flattering to have someone else choose my picture for their website.

Evidently Bath Theatre Royal, where my family go for their annual dose of christmas pantomime, is ‘perhaps’ the most haunted theatre in Britain.

Ooooh, the ghost is behind you! No it isn’t……Oh yes it is….

it’s behind you…
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sleeping beauty

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Bath Theatre RoyalMy parents, brothers and nieces all turned up at  the Theatre Royal Bath production of sleeping beauty.   3 generations laughing together at topical bad jokes involving duck houses, MP’s expenses and discrimination against ginger people.  

I was a little confused by the principle boy being an actual boy.   No girls dressing-up as boys in this production.   The songs were excellent and included perky famous dittys like  ‘Could it be magic’.   Lots of children dancing around, some slapstick and shouting and chanting.   Much fun for everyone.  

Family pantomime outings are THE BESTEST!

sleeping beauty
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empathy

Saturday, July 11th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

at school in the 1980s, if asked to present work,   I stuttered.    Teachers and classmates made sure I never had to do it, I was complicit in avoiding this painful experience.

At university I joined the students amateur dramatics group to try and practice  the problem away. In at the deep end.    I helped with the make-up, brochure design, set-painting, costume creation and most of the time enyoyed being in the background.   Then pr0gressed to my first role. Rumplestiltzkin. Lead in the xmas pantomime, few lines, all rhymed, easy to memorise. I over-practiced to take the edge of my feelings of shere terror. First night, 300 people in the audience including my parents. Minor dose of terror.   It went well.

Over time I ramped-up my speaking parts.    In a  community theatre production of Peter Shaffers Amadeus  I played Constanza Mozart, a small significant part.    The production was so good were  invited to the Edinburgh festival.   I still pause to find the words  when I’m uncomfortable.

Then yesterday.

Half an hour in  phone conversation with an amazing expert with the worse stutter I’ve ever heard left my empathsing in action in subsequent conversation.   Temporary relapse.

empathy
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fantastically ridiculous

Sunday, December 7th, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

DickThe Hexagon Theatre in Reading is running its annual pantomime, Dick Wittington.

Interactive theatre where the audience, predominatly under 4ft tall, get to shout out ‘He’s behind you’, and “BOO!” and hisssssszzzzzz as loud as they want when the clearly marked  baddie comes on the stage.   The baddie in this case was dressed in black leather with a huge fake furry chest,   long tail,   and the name ‘King Rat’.

The pantomime  hero, the principle boy,  is played by a girl wearing tights, no trousers, and thigh length leather boots  who enjoys repeatedly slapping her outer-thigh with her hand and falling in love with the leading lady who is a lady.   A man in outrageous, colourful  costumes plays an unmarried woman,    the ‘Dame’.    A young chap coordinates audience participation, facilitates the storyline and everyone’s happiness.   I’d quite like one of those.

In Dick Wittington there were doses of singing competitions, where volume supercedes musicality,  between the two halves of the auditorium.   Some songs required rather tricky accompanying hand-actions,  during which  I accidently whacked the  lady sitting next to me and generally got everything all topsy turvy.   There  are also some slow,   soppy,   songs in a pantomime.   Luckily, watching the shorter contingent of the audience wave brightly coloured lit-wands around made the soppy songs  entertaining.

For those who enjoy a heated debate, like myself, there were many opportunities to argue with the cast ‘Oh no he isn’t’….’oh yes he is’….      The occassional slap stick humour, outstandingly bad jokes and the Dames costumes that beggar belief ensured the tone of the event stayed firmly in the realm of the fantastically ridiculous.    At one point the Dame wore a dress in the form of what looked like the Tower of London.

Audience  birthdays on the performance day were announced in the penulitmate scene. I’m thinking of relocating my Brithday to mid December.

Plot spoiler (look below the next paragraph)

The plot invariably ends with the leading man (woman) and lady (woman) getting together,   the baddy being converted (normally by magic), and the dame continuing to be a dame.

Plot spoiler over (start reading here)

It was all jolly good fun.   Happy  holiday season.

Hoorah!

fantastically ridiculous
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