Monday, 3 February 2014

Ain't Nothing Like a Dame

Pantomime is a peculiarly British form of theatrical entertainment. It is a musical comedy that includes songs, dancing, slapstick humour and cross dressing with a story loosely based on a popular fairy story, that is traditionally performed around Christmas time.
 
 
Modern pantomime follows a pretty tried and tested formula. The leading juvenile male character - the principle boy - is always played by a girl in tights and there is always an older woman called the Dame, played by a man in drag. There is usually a fairy of some description plus a baddie who always gets defeated and turns good in the end. There are often explosions and chases and the whole thing relies heavily on audience participation with plenty of calling out and singing along.

 
Our village Amateur Dramatic society nearly always stages a pantomime in February and this year is no exception. We are lucky enough to have had a pantomime specially written for us by local author Sarah Harrison, who is also directing the show. It is a fabulous adaptation of the Little Red Riding Hood story called "Red Riding Hoodie" and is packed full of music and mayhem.


As usual I have been involved in helping with the costumes and have been having great fun putting together an outfit for our dame... Red Riding Hoodie's Grandma of course! A great chance to go mad with plenty of colour and oversize frills and bows.

 
But more unusually for me, this year I am actually in the pantomime. It's not the first time (I've been known to play the priciple boy in the days when I didn't mind showing off my legs) but it has been quite a while...I play the local barmaid...

 
... and I'm having so much fun! Off to another rehearsal tonight... only a couple of weeks to go!
 
 
 
 

13 comments:

  1. I hope you get to come out from behind the bar and show those principal boy's legs to a wider audience!! I bet it's a right laugh and a brilliant community event to be part of. Good on you for taking part!

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  2. That reminds me of our local village pantomime, back in the days when I lived in the UK. We had Bernie Clifton living in our village and our local amateurs would rehearse whatever pantomime he was playing in at the time and then come and ad-glib in the little local one. Great fun!

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  3. It sounds like you are having a fabulous time! Enjoy every minute! x

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  4. What fun! I would so love to come and see your production. Break a thread.

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  5. Gina, the local panto does sound like it will be full of fun. Please promise to present us with photos from the actual performance...including some of you behind and in front of that bar.

    Why is it that I do not recall a barmaid or even a pub in the traditional Little Red you know who story?

    xo

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  6. What a hoot, I wish I could come to see it all. The costume colours look fantastic - have fun. Cheers

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  7. Sounds like a recipe for a lot of fun, love the way the Dame's costume's coming along.

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  8. You can't beat a good local panto - they are the best. That costume looks fantastic and I hope you have a reserved a good one for yourself. It should have a suitably plunging neckline, a tight skirt and huge ear-rings!!

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  9. Oh how fun! You'll make a perfect barmaid. Will there be an after-party with one of your fabulous cakes???

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  10. Ooh I love that Dame's costume, maybe I should get some tickets ....

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  11. So if you're not showing your legs, what ARE you showing as the barmaid?! This sounds like a lot of fun ... both the costume making and your role in the production. I hope you'll show us the entire Grandma costume ... it looks amazing! Wendy x

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  12. Gina that sounds such a lot of fun. I haven't been to a panto in years .. I'm sure people unfamiliar with them must think the Brits are total nutters. We have some funny old traditions don't we?
    Thanks so much for your compliments on my card, much appreciated xx

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