My View, Margaret Herbert: Is it time for a Christmas panto? Oh yes it is!

editorial image

It’s Panto time again. And for the Doncaster Little Theatre that means we have had a sell-out.

All of us at Doncaster Little Theatre would like to thank everyone who has booked for this year’s production at the venue, which is Aladdin. It got under way yesterday.

Obviously the theatre’s previous reputation for staging great traditional pantomimes with a friendly family atmosphere has paid-off once again.

There is more entertainment in the pipeline in the New Year.

In January SCAR Productions present Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood – on Thursday, January 7 and Friday, January 8 at 7pm and Saturday, January 9 at 3pm and 7pm, and Sunday, January 10 at 3pm.

For booking, the box office is open 6pm to 8pm daily, telephone 01302 340422.

Pantomime has become a thriving business in this country.

Large theatres vie with each other for the subjects and ‘star’ names that will attract full houses.

Pantomimes often run for six to eight weeks, providing much-needed revenue to box offices up and down the country.

Twenty years ago the average run of a pantomime could be from the week before Christmas up until the end of February, but today few theatres can sustain such a length of run.

I saw my first pantomime, Mother Goose, at the Grand Theatre when I was three years old. Sadly, although this is a great story, it is very rarely done these days.

That was my inspiration. I wanted to be up there on that stage with the dancing girls, little realising then that I would perform in my first show with Doncaster Thespians at the Grand when I was 15.

I certainly had my eyes opened as to what goes on back stage – 30 girls in one dressing room, one toilet back stage (one special for the stars) and one cracked mirror in the dressing room (still there)!

I learned to be tidy, and to keep all my changes on my own peg, otherwise someone else could go on in my costume.

I would hate to see traditional pantomime change.

I recently went to see the current panto at the Cast Theatre in Doncaster.

And sadly I thought that Sleeping Beauty at Cast did not give the thrill of a traditional Panto.

It was a wonderful production by extremely talented performers.

But in my opinion the fact that the actors break off to perform live music themselves, rather than having an orchestra or taped music, tends to break the continuity of the story.

Please do not put traditional pantomime Behind Us.