Everyone loves a Panto don’t they?
Its one of those Great British Traditions
like Fish’n’Chips & Chips’n’Curry that come from some forgotten storybook time yet resonate still. Kinda cartoony morality tales for kids and families packed with with sneering villains, tearful heroines and dashing heroes. A bit like Vaudeville meets European Folk Tales meets Bollywood really: Tales of hope for those who may have none – and songs and jokes and slapstick and other fun silly stuff. Typically they are about some poor down and out, a servant, a waif, a street-person someone down on their luck who has just about given up…and gets a break and makes good, big-time: like marrying a Prince, or becoming the Mayor of London.
Written by Fine Time Fontayne
Directed by Kevin Shaw
Designed by Celia Perkins
Fine Time Fontayne (Saucy Sarah Suet)
Andonis Anthony (King Rat)
Justine Elizabeth Bailey (Dick Whittington)
Liz Carney (Fairy Bowbells)
Richard J Fletcher (Billy Suet)
Lisa Holliman (Alice Fitzwarren)
Simeon Truby (Alderman Fitzwarren)
Wait a minute…Mayor of London, did you say?
The Oldham Coliseum’s panto this year is, by an amazing coincidence: Dick Whittington! in which Dick W, who’s been having a bad time in London town, has had enough and decides to quit London with his only friend the cat, but has a change of heart, goes back to the smoke and ultimately ends up as the Mayor of London. Dick Whittington that is not the cat . Although it could have been, panto is like that.
Here is what the Coliseum folk have to say about it.
Panto is just round the corner
Dick Whittington might be making his way to London but the Coliseum’s pantomime dame, Saucy Sarah Suet, is on her way to Oldham for this year’s festive production.
The cast arrived last week to start rehearsals for the award-winning traditional pantomime. Dance routines, song lyrics and rhyming couplets are being perfected all in time for Saturday 26 November. Saucy Sarah is just 2 ½ miles from the Coliseum and will no doubt have a few costume changes along the way before she arrives at the theatre for the opening performance.
The Coliseum is famed all over the North West for its traditional pantomimes producing and commissioning a brand new production every year attracting audiences of over 35,000. Sleeping Beauty (2010/11) won the prestigious Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for Best Family Show.
All the essential elements for a great panto are there – time honoured traditions like the slosh scene; the transformation and the inevitable wedding and walk-down – plus all the favourite characters: Principal Boy; evil villain and, of course, the Dame. Add a collection of songs both current and classic and you know you’re in for a fantastic evening of pure entertainment.