Tuesday, 13 January 2015

CBeebies Panto: Peter Pan

Hooray, it's panto season. And that means it's CBeebies panto season. This Christmas they chose Peter Pan, with Nina And The Neurons as Wendy, Justin as Mr Darling, Cat as Tinkerbell, Andy as Captain Hook and Mr Bloom as Peter Pan. There was lots of singing and lots of flying. And it was - with a running time of 40 minutes - probably the briefest version of the story ever known. The Theatre By The Lake in Keswick are currently doing Peter Pan as their Christmas production, and they take two hours over it. Though 40 minutes is more in line with our daughter's level of concentration. Because she watches too much television, I expect.

Now, in my book, Peter Pan in panto should be played by a girl. Mr Bloom had ditched his fake Yorkshire accent for - well, I don't know what. One that was certainly all over the place. But he was wearing very tight tights for us lucky mummies so that gave us something else to think about. Katy from I Can Cook was playing Mrs Darling, and she gave it her all, like the overacting RSC wannabe she always is. Thankfully she only got two scenes.

Anyone know the word for crocodile phobia?

Andy seems to always be made to play the baddie - the Giant in Jack And The Beanstalk, Mr Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, and now our crocodile phobic pirate. But he does a good job. He is so ridiculously tall he was still towering over the people up in the air on wires.

Tink to her friends
I took our daughter to see the new Tinkerbell film during the Christmas holidays. Only I didn't, because after I had made her walk all the way from our house to the Reel Cinema on Blossom Street we discovered it had sold out. This is because the Reel Cinema has two screens which are no bigger than the manager's office, which is in fact what they used to be. So I felt like the worst mummy in the world when I had to tell her that her long walk had been in vain, and I wasn't allowed to take her to see Fifty Shades Of Grey instead. She burst into floods of tears in the foyer. And we had to walk all the way back home again. It - stupidly - hadn't occurred to me to book in advance. Anyway, Daddy took her to see the film the next day instead so ultimately all was well. Or it was until she saw the Never Beast for the first time.

But panto - yes, we are going to do it this year for the first time as a family! We have already enjoyed the wonderful children's productions of Puss In Boots at the De Grey Rooms and Father Christmas at the West Yorkshire Playhouse this Christmas, but now it's time to go the whole hog. After all, CBeebies has given our daughter a handle on the genre, albeit a very short one. And in York we have the best panto in the world, in the hands of Mr Berwick Kaler, who has written, directed and played the dame at the Theatre Royal for over 35 years. We haven't been for the past five, but I am fairly sure that the plot won't have changed in the intervening period. Berwick Kaler kind of makes it up on the night anyway. There is always a video filmed in York city centre with a cameo from Look North presenter Harry Gration. There is always a scene with fluorescent puppets. There is always a scene involving a lot of water. There are Wagon Wheels thrown to the audience, and a bottle of Newcastle Brown passed a little more gently. This year the production is Old Mother Goose, and David Leonard is back playing the baddie ("the Dreaded Lurgi") after two years away in Matilda in the West End. (Ha, look behind you, Katy, there's a proper RSC actor in panto!) It may all be too brash, loud and long for our "babbie and bairn", but with Kaler now 69, you just never know how much longer he will keep up the show, and so we feel we have to give it a go before it's too late. 

Old Mother Goose

No comments:

Post a Comment