0“ YES IT IS!
Each containing more corn than an American prairie. Pantomimes are with us again — Oh yes they are! The List sent its own Ugly Sisters (Fisher and Parsons) outto speak to the luminaries ofthe Panto world about their perennial appeal. the pantos that is. Now when l nod my
head. you hit it.
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I The Cast: Aladdin and the Wonderful
Lamp, Cumbernauld Theatre, 23 Nov—30 Dec.
'l‘here are no strengths in traditional pantos. only weaknesses. (‘ross-dressing has no place in our
show. It isoutdated and meaningless _
to children. ’l'he corniest lines'.’ See the lovely(‘hristmas tree beneath
the (‘hristmas fairy it‘stheonly time
of year I kiss my hairy Aunty Mary.
I Una McLean: Appearing in Robin Hood and The Babes in the Wood at the King’s Edinburgh. 5 Dec-17 Feb.
The strength lies in the story~telling. As long as you‘ve got a strong story the kids and the mums and dads love it as much as the first time they saw it. The weakness is \\ hen it loses the story for the sake olaspeciality act and it just becomes a \ arier show. Also good should triumph o\ er e\ il. ('t‘oss-tit‘essilig is a good tradition dating back to mid l‘)th century
4 The List 24 November >— 7 December WHO
times when it was the only way the men could get a look at wornen‘s legs. Seeing as you asked for a corny line here‘s one about feet. I say : ‘I‘ve got terrible sciatica feet."l‘o which someone replies ‘What are sciatica feet.‘ Then I say "I‘hese shoes are size five. see-Ah-tak-a six!‘
I Walter Carr: Playing the Dame in Mother Goose, The King’s Theatre, Glasgow, 28 Nov—10 Feb.
()ne of the great strengths of pantomime is the story-line. You‘ve got to get a strong story and then it‘s up to the comics to slot in the comedy. Also you‘re skating between adults and children. there‘s got to be something for both. (ierry Kelly does more ol'the children‘s jokes and I do more of the adults‘ jokes. You must get that balance right and you don't send it up. The business olcross-dressing is so traditional. People do accept it. It‘s not going to please everyone. but it‘s not the business of drag queens. This
is my 31st Dame and they should j always know it‘s a man dressed up as a woman. It works for Danny La Rue to appear as a woman. but he‘s put a lifetime‘s work into perfecting that. But otherwise. it's a send-up ofthat particular type ofwoman and in recent years very few women have come tip with a successful pantomime Dame. Two of the corniest jokes in this pantomime go like this: DA M 12‘: That stupid goose. I fonly I (Oil/(l teach her to lay an egg. (1‘ l How can you teach her to lay an egg 7 DA M 12‘: Well, I taught you to lay a table.
DA M [is You 're such a nice man.
SQ U I R If: Than/(you.
DA M [is You ‘re such a nice man.
SQ U] R [is Why did you say that tii't'c‘e.’
DA M15: Icoultlnae believe it tlzeft‘rst time.
I Gerard Kelly: Playing Gormless Gussy, in Mother Goose, see above. This is my first pantomime. I like it because it‘s children‘s first introduction to theatre. It‘s howl first started going to the theatre as a child. I‘ve got no set ideas about what pantomime is about. I‘ve been hired to do what l‘tn good at and ill break the rules maybe that‘s a good thing. A wee kid told me a good corny joke the other day: he was waving his left hand in the air and he said ‘Why does the Queen never wave with this hand'.". I said I didn‘t know and he said. ‘Because it‘s my hand!‘
I Steven Shepherd: Acting in A Christmas Carol, Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh, 13—19 Dec.
It‘s about the only theatre
f experience that parents will take their kids to see. Too much relies these days on TV culture and even though you try to get them away from the box very often there‘s some old soap star appearing in the panto. Alternatively the strengths and weaknesses of traditional panto are Anita Harris and Anita llarris. As for cross-dressing I personally have nothing against ladies‘ underwear. 'I‘he corniest line has to be any feed line to the ‘()h no you‘re not. oh yes you are‘ routines that you can spot a mile off.
I Stuart Hepburn: Author of The Turkey That Fought Back, The Traverse, Edinburgh, 1—30 Dec.
The strength ofpantomime is that the audience knows exactly what it‘s going to get. Expectations are met. 'l‘here‘ll be a girl dressed up as a boy. a bov dressed up as a girl. jokes about the telly and Radio (‘lyde DJs pretending they can act. The weaknesses are when they are hackneyed and old fashioned. In the worst ones the script would not normally have seen the light ofday and the pieces rely on the hard work of the singers and dancers. I think pantomime actually tends to be for