One of the main consistencies of amateur theatre is pantomime. It arrives every year, full of colour and sparkle, and follows all the traditional well-loved formulas. We watch the trials and tribulations of the main protagonists, wondering every year if our heroine will manage to escape/be woken by a kiss/ever finish the cleaning? Or if our hero will find the matching slipper/defy the giant/pack enough cat food to make it to London? Booing and hissing at the baddies, cheeky innuendo from the Dame and slapstick antics from the comedy duo all feel as comfortable as old slippers, and you know that whatever may be lost will always be BEHIND YOU! (Oh no it won’t).
Having been involved with theatre for decades has meant that I have directed, stage managed and acted in many pantomimes, in addition to the years when I have merely been in the audience supporting family and friends onstage. This year I watched Horncastle Theatre Company‘s production of Aladdin at the Lion Theatre (a proud mum as my eldest daughter was in the cast) and took photographs of the pantomime dance troupe during dress rehearsal. The choreography was by my friend and very talented dance teacher Nancy Byrne who runs classes in dancing and theatre arts.
Nancy has taught dance for years and her own enthusiasm and sense of fun spills into her classes which can be seen in the faces of the dancers.
My god-daughter, Nancy’s eldest daughter, has inherited her mother’s love of the stage, and happily soaks up the limelight. Being involved with performance arts all of her life has given her a confidence that many children her age are yet to find.
And of course, there are often surprises around the corner, things are not always what they seem to be at first glance. Sometimes that damsel is a dame!