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Panto Vignettes

Now if you're from anywhere other than the British Isles your probably looking at pantomime scripts with some confusion. A short explanation is required. British pantomime is a peculiar thing, which is peculiar to Britain, where people are peculiar. The rules are almost as incomprehensible as the rules of cricket except any time you like you can change them - as long as it works!.


Pantomimes are primarily for children but also should be entertaining for adults. Invariably its a well known story and often a fairy tale e.g. Cinderella, Snow White, Aladdin etc. Invariably you have a baddie e.g. a wicked witch or evil queen - who is very bad and the audience will hiss and boo them. If they don't the baddie or one of the other cast will make the audience hiss and boo. Also you have a 'goodie' who the story is usually about e.g. Cinderella, Snow White, Aladdin etc. Often these characters are obviously mentally retarded because they fall for the most ridiculous things usually from the baddie.


Often there will be the goodie's friend e.g. Buttons who helps the audience understand the story and is friendly with the audience telling them jokes and throwing them sweets etc. Often this character will get some members of the audience on stage (adults and/or children) to do tasks which they will find funny but will be very emabarressed to do on stage which the rest of the audience will laugh at.


There will usually be a man dressed as a middle aged woman (a panto dame) who will be related to or have no relationship at all with the goodie. The dame is usually well over the top in dress, make up, and manner, and usually have a large repetoire of jokes and short amusing sketches.


The pantomime goodie will often be a woman dressed as a young man (a principal boy) who should have nice legs displayed. Often the goodie will fall in love with another women dressed as a young woman. Nothing is seen as unusual with this


Then there are various other characters/animals etc e.g. pantomime horse, cow, wicked sisters, lords, ladies, dukes or litterally anything thrown in to make up the 'story' which must have a happy ending, and good must triumph over evil.


Characters will sing for any reason or no reason at all. There is often a fair amount of innuendo and satire on current events. Innuendo MUST go way over the childrens heads or the adults will feel uncomfortable and the atmosphere destroyed.. E.g. a smutty comment must have an obvious literal meaning e.g. Dick Whittingtons girl friend talking about him "Oh I do love my Dick!" the children will draw nothing except the literal meaning from it, the adults will snigger.


Whenever a cast member says 'Oh no you cant' (or variant' ) or "Oh yes I can" the audience has to bellow back the corresponding reply. (several times) This is encouraged and to be as loud as possible. As much as possible the audience is encourage to shout, or sing, or anything.

There are numerous well used 'traditional' panto sketches and jokes listed in the 'Pantomime Book' by Paul Harris. Any of the above can be changed except always any sexual/smutty innuendo must go over the kids heads or the adults are distinctly uncomfortable. Its probably easiest to just go and see the panto from one of the pantomime scripts above - you'll soon get the idea. - Oh yes you will ! Hopefully you get the idea and if your putting on a community pantomime then my pantomime scripts are exactly what you are looking for. Break a leg with what ever production you decide to put on.


Alistair Clinton

Poster, created by Kenneth Whitley, showing Little Red Riding Hood and a wolf, created in 1937.



BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (ACT 1) SCRIPT

Beauty and the Beast Act 1 (panto).pdf

RED RIDING HOOD SCRIPT

Red Riding Hood.pdf

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Fishbon's purpose is to provide a forum, education and support for creative collaboration, mentorship and the visceral experience of visual, aural and performance-based art.  It is also to provide exhibition media for the artists and their art forms.

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Fishbon's mission is to encourage collaboration between artists, technologists, writers, designers, performers and participants to create unique, real-time, compelling aesthetic experiences that speak to contemporary audiences.  Fishbon believes the synergy (sharings of perspectives and skills) made possible in a collaborative space creates a unique and special context for art.  By providing context, physical infrastructure, tools, mentoring support and encouragement for creative collaboration, Fishbon is an experiential incubator for emerging cooperative working models.  Much more about the process experience than final product, Fishbon creates a diverse "interactive" learning community that would be difficult to achieve in isolated individual working environments.

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