Pantomime is a long established medium and it’s important to keep the traditional aspects, with goodies, baddies and phrases that people expect, but with kids TV bombarding children’s senses throughout the year, panto needs a modern twist. It has to be fast paced and interactive, making use of technology, keeping the kids attention and giving them the impression that something impossible has happened on stage.
It’s also important to make the show current in terms of script and jokes. You need to know your local news, but also what’s going on nationally, like who’s been kicked out of the jungle and which footballers have been caught doing what!
For those taking part in panto for the first time I would advise that there is never enough rehearsal time so it’s vital to understand your role. Panto characters have real stock characteristics; Cinderella shouldn’t be funny, Silly Billy shouldn’t be too knowing etc etc. So you need to understand what sort of character you are and stay true to it.
Whilst pantomime should be a farcical, colourful, hilarious journey, it’s also for many children their first experience of live theatre and they will follow, believe and go through a whole range of emotions through the show, so its vital to keep that at the forefront of everything you do.
Good luck to everyone taking part in panto and Merry Christmas from everyone at the Towngate Theatre!