The festive period is never truly kicked off without, perhaps an advent calendar, decorations and the other tradition of attending a pantomime to indulge in shouting responses to actors’ jokes and ‘lead ons’ and admiring talented and attractive dancers and high-energy characters from a dream/fairytale land.
This has got to be the BEST panto I have EVER seen.
From the moment I entered the theatre I knew I was in for a treat. The hospitality was wonderful, a lovely warm greeting as I collected my tickets and programme and being catered for during the interval made this evening that bit more special.
Panto season is well and truly upon us and a trip to Theatre Royal Wakefield during this festive period will see you transported to Medieval times in this wonderful family favourite Sleeping Beauty. The classic story of love triumphing over evil follows the story of Princess Aurora (Alice Strachan) who is cursed as a baby by the wicked fairy Carabosse (Julie Stark) who seeks revenge on the King (Neil Smye) who stole her golden fairy wings. Carabosse’s evil threat is that by her 18th birthday Aurora will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die, so it is Dame Nanny Nurture (Chris Hannon) who is charged with protecting the princess from this terrible fate. Of course when the inevitable happens the good fairy Filament (Claire Sundin) is unable to reverse the magic of her evil sister so softens the curse by sending the whole kingdom to sleep for 100 years with the only thing able to wake Aurora being the kiss of a good man.
The story of Cinderella is known far and wide and is currently on at the Bolton Octagon. However, this is not your usual standard production. The story is told from the point of view of the kitchen rats bringing a new life and wonderful twist to the classic tale.
For me the countdown to Christmas officially starts when the Oldham Coliseum Pantomime opens, and tonight the festive season well and truly began with this years’ production of Sleeping Beauty, once again written by Fine Time Fontayne and Kevin Shaw. The Coliseum pantomime has become known as one of the best examples of this fine theatrical tradition in the country and this year once again it does not disappoint.
The panto season has kicked off to a very early start this year with Hope Mill Theatre's own pantomime, directed and choreographed by the lovely owners of this wonderfully versatile theatre, Joseph Houston and William Whelton.
The Wizard of Oz at the St Helens Theatre Royal is visually one of the most stunning pantos - or even shows - that I have ever seen. The cloth at the beginning showing the name of the show was a piece of art in itself, and all throughout the performance the scenery, costumes and effects stole the show! It’s not often that I feel the need to gush about the scene changes, but they were smooth, and seamless, despite the sets being so elaborate. The dancers were amazing, with strong choreography from Sarah Walker.
Celebrities, media moguls and movers and shakers in the city were taken on a whistle-stop magic carpet adventure through LHK Productions’ latest pantomime as they attended the press launch of Aladdin!
Producer Lee Kelly waved his magic wand and revealed his all-star cast who will perform in Aladdin this Christmas before treating them to a sneak preview of his spellbinding panto.
Visiting the theatre at the end of Blackpool's North Pier for the first time, firstly I was surprised at the vast size of it, secondly how wonderful it is that several hundred people have taken the decision to brace the howling winds and rain, to trundle down the long pier, with the waves crashing all around below, to watch the pantomime 'The Wizard of Oz.’ Yes, this is summer! Is it all going to be worthwhile?
The show starts off in a Kansas farmyard with Dorothy, her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry and farmhands discussing the impending cyclone but portrayed in true panto style with great song and dance routines. The scenery is good and special effects with pyrotechnics and smoke enhance the show.
It's April, the sun is shining and I'm by the sea. I never thought I'd say this, but it seems it's panto season!
This is the new craze in recent years of the Easter pantomime, and this would be my first 'Easter' panto. I'm a big fan of panto at Christmas, I think it's fun and a great introduction to the theatre for kids and usually go to around 2 or 3 different pantomimes at Christmas to really get in that Christmas spirit, but an Easter pantomime is a totally different thing all together.
A pantomime at Easter I hear you cry.... oh no, there isn't - Oh yes there is! Anton Benson productions are back, and this time with a bigger and better product.
Written by Anton Benson himself, this is actually an extremely well-written show and tells the story simply and effectively with moments of madness and moments of sadness. Traditions are kept - such as audience responses, character types, routines etc, and it is most definitely age appropriate with a couple of things thrown in for the adults too, but nothing too saucy or offensive. The songs were all appropriate too and except for the Christmas ones, well chosen; and thankfully, the laborious routines which can often go on for ever were kept to a reasonable length here!
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