Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sleeping Beauty - Pantomime

Pantomime in Britain (usually called Panto) is a peculiarly British tradition of winter musical comedy theater. It has nothing to do with mime - silent performers in white-face make up walking into glass. British pantomime takes familiar fairy tales and children's stories - Cinderella, Aladdin, Dick Whittington and His Cat, Snow White - and injects a bit of music hall (British Vaudeville) sensibility, contemporary references and audience participation to create a raucous, noisy entertainment that's fun for everyone in the family.
A Very Old TraditionBritish pantomime has very deep roots, drawing on the 15th and 16th century traditions of Commedia del Arte for an assortment of stock characters and other conventions.

This pantomime is an initiative be St.Gertrude's Church in South Croydon.

The St Gertrude’s Theatre Company is a large community of like-minded people who love nothing more than to get together and perform. Our pantomime is staged every two years. The pantomime also gives the group the opportunity to make fun of themselves, sing and enjoy some great company. The successful productions try to support local charities.

I am making a brief attempt in explaining what went into a great show....

The people involved worked tirelessly and coordinated all activities seamlessly!

May 19th - Announcement of this year's pantomime!

With an announcement in May 19th for the upcoming pantomime, I spared no opportunity...and send both girls for auditions!

Auditions Flyer was distributed.

June 10th Auditions Started...

A picture of Tanya in one of the auditions!

June 30th ...The cast finalised!and the first pantomime read-through...the script was 70 pages!

July 30th - Deadlines for lines to be learnt!

Sep 5th - Back to Action...T decided to drop out because of her schedule which meant R had to continue alone....she would be the youngest!

Rehearsals and practice sessions every Sunday seemed to get longer.The adults were practising on Tuesdays and Thursdays too....

They started with 4 hrs sessions and the longest was 8 hrs...R took it all on the stride and never whined although she was  physically very tired.

Sep 30th...Flyers to promote the show was released....

So I faithfully tried telling all my friends around.....some of them looked as if  I was committing a crime .I knew it will be a great show..and some of my friends would never have gone to one of this quality!..........but the looks on the faces seemed to suggest why should we watch your daughter?Well R had just one tiny part in over three dozen members of the cast and it was indeed a fabulous show and great family entertainment!

Somewhere they lost the message that it will be  great family entertainment!

Yet about 5 families we knew did watch the show and wanted to give it a go....But the best quote during the show was a twelve year old who decided to come alone with us kept saying how she wished her parents had come along!And the ones who came along had a great evening!

The final two weeks posed the ultimate challenge.

The first week we have practice every other day ...that was ok as it was half term week...the sessions were from half past 6 to 10 in the evening as the adults had to be  back from work...The final week ...every day rehearsals and the Wednesday before the show....they actually finished rehearsals 2 minutes short of midnight!

The 4 shows were well attended by over 200 people in each...The crowd was really impressed with every show and said it had surpassed all their expectations...R said she was nervous before the first show after that she was so comfortable that it was not stressful....Each show lasted three hours .....and all in all she had a wonderful time.....She had finally clocked over 100 hrs just doing her little part for the Panto!

And we were really proud of what she had achieved....It was once in a life time experience.....to act with some West End actors and dancers.....and to have the confidence to mix with almost strange group of people for long periods of time but she did it!

Three cheer to R!....after all she is only 9....and the youngest of the cast members!

A few video links and the photos .The first and the last video are the best to watch...and they are about a minute each!


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