Monday, January 30, 2012

Oh no it isn't...

It's that time of year again. Yep, YFC drama competition time. This year the theme is pantomime and I am amazed to think that I've been involved long enough to think 'Oh no, not again.' (Panto, I can assure you is not my favourite genre.) Chirbury and Marton have chosen 'Jack and the Beanstalk'.

So. We know when we will be be on stage in Whitchurch; 17th February, a date a little too close for comfort. These young people certainly enjoy a white knuckle ride. How I wish we had a little longer to tease the very best out of them.

Come on, tell me the few essentials of a good pantomime.  Whatever the individual storyline good will always triumph over evil. Kings, queens, nobles, evil henchmen, stereotypical simpletons, villagers and poor, beautiful and virtuous young girls rub shoulders in Pantoland. The Principal boy will always woo and win the Principal girl. The principal boy is always girl and there's always a Dame, another role for the cross dresser. As tradition demands our Dame is a stubbly chinned bloke.

There will be curious farm animals - a two-piece cow or horse. This is Daisy, deflated so-to-speak, sans actors.
We've had a few read-throughs but scripts are still much in evidence. 'Learn your words' we plead.
Come to think of it - we have yet to have a rehearsal with the whole cast present. 'Everyone must be there next time' we insist, more in hope than expectation.

Actually I will be the one who won't be there. I have other plans - even if they only involve being in the room next door. In the meantime there is the usual incongruous collection of props to assemble; cowbell, bag of gold/beans, buckets, baskets and feather duster. Not my kind of shopping I'm afraid.

Oh, they need a hen too....and if one can't be borrowed or made from papier mâché it has been suggested that I could find a compliant bird with thespian tendencies from my hen pen. Strewth! I think not. An afternoon covering a wire frame with paste and paper would be infinitely preferable. Non?


rachel said...

Wonderful! You lead such a rich and varied life, you know.

If I lived nearer, I'd be queuing for a ticket - no, not for the stubbly-chinned Dame, but for the pantomime cow - I have never outgrown finding it (or the horse) hilarious.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Yes , I'd be there , too , with Eldest Grandson who'd love it all . He's still talking about Sooty and Sweep's visit to his school .
The 17th seems alarmingly near, though! The construction of a papier machè chicken , let alone drying it out and painting it in that time , seems wildly ambitious .... I suppose a big cardboard cut out wouldn't do?
Good Luck ! It all sounds great fun .

Kirsty.a said...

Whjat fun. Oh no it isn't! Panto isn't meant to be taken too seriously - do a rehearsal without scripts and make them ad lib. That'll scare them into learning their words!

Fennie said...

Oh a real hen, please. Puk, puk, puk, puuuuuk!

Good luck. It's all good fun. Lots of pics please. Let's hope everyone turns up on the night.

Frances said...

Mountainear, let me give you a bravery citation!

The chicken/hen challenge might most easily be done via some really obvious two-dimensional stand in. Some sort of primitive jointed-cardboard puppet. But oversize!

On many of the subway trains I daily ride, I see posters advertising the still-running B'way production of The Lion King. This was Julie Taymor's golden age, before Spiderman taught humility to her and Bono, too. (Both shows are still running, as is War Horse.)

Please do post a follow-up after opening night. xo

Cro Magnon said...

I once had to make a large Lion's head for a production of Androcles. It had a moveable jaw, and moveable eyes. Never again!

I wonder if you pass through Welshampton on your way to Whitchurch. We had the large house by the church.