Sunday, December 17, 2006

Back to Normality. Aharrr!

So we've just finished our manic Panto weekend. A dress rehearsal and two shows on Friday, and two shows today. Our audiences loved it, and so did we. It was extremely tiring, but great fun.

There is nothing on Earth like a British Panto. It's a hugely stylised form of theatre: there are traditional elements such as the Dame (a man dressed as a woman), the Principal Boy (a girl dressed as a boy), audience participation - 'he's behind you!' - 'oh yes it is, oh no it isn't' - random kids being dragged up on stage for a spot of humiliation - throwing sweets at the kids - splitting the audience for a singsong - making them boo and hiss at the baddies, making them all go 'aaah'. Pour in a dash of innuendo for the parents, throw in some local jokes, singing and dancing to popular songs related to the show, over-the-top acting, and, DING-DONG! You have a pantomime.

It surprises me that Pantomime really only exists in the UK - for sure there will be amateur groups of Britpats doing pantos in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and even Ras Al Khaimah and other far-flung places. In the Dubai Drama Group we have always had a smattering of non-UK actors wondering what the hell was going on. For several years we had a core of Filipino Chorus-boys who never showed up for any other kind of play but were always mad keen to be in the Panto.

If I ever get asked to compile a list of things that define British Culture, it could not be complete without Pantomime.

So now it's all over - I can throw away my script and not worry about it again: all that remains to be said is "Merry Christmas One And All".



Blogger Harsha said...

Aww I should have made it... now i regret!

Can we expect some pictures?

Merry Christmas to you toO!

9:14 am  
Blogger Al Ain Taxi said...

Photos please! The Sunny was playing up over the weekend and I couldnt make it up to Dubtown.

12:39 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Betterarf has posted some stuff on Little Yellow Duck.

2:49 pm  
Blogger Seabee said...

And a Merry Christmas to you 'n' yours Keefieboy.

4:42 pm  
Blogger Duffy said...

Funny, we had a British panto group come to our college and perform "Wasps" by Aristophanes which was tremendous fun. So much so, they were invited each year thereafter. I understand there are some ersatz versions here like Rocky Horror Picture show and (God help me) Tony and Tina's Wedding.

6:38 pm  

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