Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"I am Little Bo-Peep!" "Oh no, you're not!" "Oh yes, I am!"

My friend Ford mentioned in passing that he was going to audition some people for a panto which he would be assistant directing.
"Oooh! Can I come and see the show when it's done?" I asked.
First verse of the nursery rhyme.
"You can come and be in it," he replied. 
And so I ended up going to the auditions and was cast in the title role of Little Bo-Peep (although the story revolves around her, she is not actually the one who appears in the show the most).

A short synopsis: Fanny owns a farm which she runs with her son, Freddie. Little Bo-Peep is Freddie's girlfriend and she looks after the sheep on the farm. The problems start when a Lady Sneering appears and has such a crush on Freddie that she asks Mefisto, the magician of a touring show, to make Bo-Peep disappear so she can have Freddie for herself. 

For the Finns and other people outside of the UK reading this, I may need to just explain the concept of an English pantomime. It is not a show where the actors don't speak but a musical comedy usually performed around Christmas time. It is often based on a well-known fairy tale (our one, Little Bo-Peep, is based on the nursery rhyme where she loses her sheep). Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Peter Pan for instance are very standard ones. Pantos are targeted at the whole family with singing and dancing slotted into the play and  they would not work without the participation of the audience. Gender lines are often crossed with men playing women's parts and vice versa and the characters, although obviously named according to the story, tend to be very much the same and exaggerated. You have a dame, a yokel, a comedy duo etc.. The jokes are usually bad and there are witticisms flooded with sexual innuendos which children are oblivious to but which are amusing for the grown-ups. 

Bo-Peep in Toy Story. (Source)
Confession: I have never seen a pantomime let alone been in one. I will go and see one before we perform ours though so I actually have a proper idea of what we are aiming for. I am also lucky to have Ford, who knows what he's doing, there playing Freddie. 
The atmosphere within the group doing the panto, Manor Players, is absolutely lovely and I am always looking forward to going to rehearsals. They currently take place four times a week so I have virtually no free time. If I am not at school or work, I am in a rehearsal. I like being busy though when it comes to things I genuinely enjoy doing though. Really looking forward to performing this.  

Poster for the panto below. Do come and see it if you have the opportunity :) It will be lots of fun! 

Manor Players website: http://www.manorplayers.org/