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All I want from Christmas Panto is…

December 6, 2017

First one this week, second the week after, and yet to decide how many more. As it is the season, I thought I’d keep it short and snappy (as a great panto dwarf should be – see, the jokes start already) and come up with a very simple list that even a panto producer insane enough to hire the obnoxious Jarred Christmas to pollute the stage might understand and be able to work with.

So, in no particular order (apart from the first one, but that’s a personal thing) the list runs something like this:


A pretty girl with a singing voice and charm to match her looks.


A handsome prince for her to fall in love with.


Great jokes, all types – visual, wordy, clean or slightly (but not too) rude, spoken and sung.


A ‘Good Fairy’ to cheer.


An ‘Evil Witch’ to boo.


A ‘Wicked step-parent’ to boo even louder.


A messy decorating or cooking routine.


A panto dame with multiple fabulously outrageous hilarious costumes.


A transformation scene to make everybody gasp.


Those songs that everyone knows and wants to join in with.


No banging on about “politically correct, save the world” topics, health and safety and other moaners. The season is too short.


And finally….

Bring back the sweets thrown into the audience (I always sit row C house left at Wimbledon, front block aisle Palladium, crèmes and soft centres, please, not coffee ones).


That’s the list, and now I’m ready for the start… oh yes I am…

  1. Francesca Clementis permalink
    December 6, 2017 10:55 am

    We’re off to Wimbledon this coming Saturday for the very first performance. Very excited to see Clive Rowe whom they’ve poached from Hackney. I totally agree with all this (especially the sweets). My daughter would probably add ‘real animals’. She was taken by her school to see Stephen Fry’s Cinderella at the Old Vic many years ago. All she had to say about it was that there were no real horses (Wimbledon always has real horses for Cinderella…) … We saw Russ Abbott one year and he was undoubtedly the best panto performer we ever saw. I would also say: ‘no Americans’ – they seldom ‘get’ panto. We went excitedly to see Henry Winkler at his debut in Peter Pan at Wimbledon. He had no idea what he was doing and was clearly delivering his lines without understanding the principles of panto. Very disappointing. Oh yes it was…

    • Steve Rich permalink*
      December 6, 2017 11:33 am

      Have an amazing time. I never miss Wimbledon now either. Clive Rowe and The Pub Landlord should make an interesting combo…

      I really miss the sweets, and the show sponsored by Cadbury.

      Ah yes, the Wimbledon ponies. Not just for the beauty, but also the joyous chance of a Noakes style mishap… Interesting fact, Wimbledon’s wings are so narrow, they prepare the pony and coach outside and bring it straight through the dock doors as required. No fun when the weather is bad, I’m told.

      Loved Russ Abbott in “Camelot” at the Open Air, can imagine him in panto.

      Not sure about Americans. Some really “get it” and others don’t. Willing to give them a try, I think. Oh yes I am. More to the point, I love watching American tourists see panto for the first time – they suddenly understand Britain in a whole new way 😉

  2. tonyloc permalink
    December 6, 2017 11:00 am

    Good list! No other dislikes? What about ancient ‘celebrities’ with no panto skills or ventriloquists who do the same act every year?

    • Steve Rich permalink*
      December 6, 2017 11:27 am

      Thanks Tony. It was a wish-list, so not about likes and dislikes :).

      I don’t mind ancient celebrities without skills, so long as they join in and learn as they go. Vents who do the same act, less keen… but Paul Zerdin has done the same act for over 20 years, so I just assume he is a recording anyway ;).

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