Thursday, 15 December 2011

A British Pantomime Experience

Luke and I had our first British "Panto" experience on Monday night.  We celebrated his birthday early (due to other shows on his birthday being sold out--it's a VERY popular Christmas activity here in York).  Not sure what to expect, we went with open minds thinking we'd be watching something that was along the lines of mime.  Far from it!  And, if we had done a google search beforehand or looked it up on wikipedia ( we would have found out that it is in fact a musical comedy.  The one we went to was Aladdin, and yes, the audience was filled with children and their parents (and if you are wondering: at one point we wondered whether we should bring Tyler to an afternoon show, but decided that he wouldn't be able to sit that long).  As it turns out (since it is not mime) there was lots of loud music, flashing lights and a super scary villain so we're even more convinced that bringing Tyler would have been a fairly traumatic experience for him (especially considering that we even need to fast forward through "scary" parts of the children's animated book The Gruffalo and classic Disney film The Jungle Book) .

But back to the Aladdin panto.  I could tell at the beginning that Luke was not quite so sure, and neither was I.  There is quite a bit of audience interaction in a pantomime, and I'll be honest it is out of my comfort zone.  But by the end of the first half our modes had switched.  The children within us decided to show themselves and thoroughly enjoyed "Booing" Ebenezer (the evil character) and yelling to the good guys that a ghost was right behind them (as they sang the Ghostbuster theme song).  It was a blast!!  To be caught up in the story, the imaginative creativity of the show, part we were told to play...was magical.

And at the end of the show we transformed back into the adults we are, and decided to continue the magic at a pub on the way home with a mulled wine and a local beer called Humbug.  The best of both worlds.

If you are interested in sampling what we experienced that night check out
this clip of an Aladdin pantomime from several years ago: