First week of panto rehearsals: All change

When I think of the panto, I think of my hours spent hanging around the cafe at the rehearsal venue. I see it through rose tinted glasses. I love that place. I love my glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice and the particularly nice cheese and onion crisps that I stretch out for an hour or more. I read a book or, if I’m feeling good, I read one of my work books. Panto rehearsals are marked with photos like this.

But nothing stays the same. My daughter is at secondary school now. There’s no time for her to get home before rehearsals. I would have to go and pick her up from school and drive her straight to the venue. It was going to be time-consuming and use up a lot of fuel.

But then my daughter came up with a plan. It was a genius plan. So simple, yet I would never have thought of it myself. She could get a different bus from school. Instead of me driving to pick her up and driving to rehearsals, she would just get on a different school bus. And, credit to the bus company, they let her do it. I love that they’re so helpful and flexible.

The good news is, I could actually spend longer at home and make dinner for the boys. It would be a better use of my time and a lot less fuel used. But I felt a little bit sad that I wouldn’t be spending my quiet time in the cafe. Although I did actually go there on the first two days, just to check my daughter was settled and was safe and happy with the new bus.

And how are the rehearsals going? They’re going very well.

This year there has been a big influx of tiny new girls. Previously an 11 year old would still have been considered on the young side, but suddenly my daughter is one of the big ones. It’s very strange to see her looking big. Of course she’s grown a lot since she was ‘little’ two years ago.

And the dancing is going well. We’ve had some demonstrations at home. The routines remind me a lot of her jazz exam – only harder. They must be a struggle for the 8 year olds! The choreographer knows her name and she never makes the effort to know anyone’s name, so I’m seeing that as a positive.

I can’t believe it’s less than two weeks until opening night, but there’s a lot more rehearsals to go before then. Oh yes there is!

Author: Sarah Mummy

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16 Comments

  1. Our rehearsals start today and they open on the 2nd. I feel stressed already

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    • Eek! Good luck! Ours opens on the 2nd too and rehearsals started last Tuesday. They’re rehearsing six days a week.

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  2. It sounds your girl has grown up so much over the past year! What a clever idea getting a different bus!
    Good luck I hope the rehearsals continue to go well x

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    • Thanks very much! Getting the other bus was absolute genius. I never would have thought of that myself. x

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  3. They just keep growing up, don’t they?! My eldest is in his first big show, performances are in a couple of weeks, so lots of rehearsals right now! Thankfully, it’s the school drama program (although it’s a fairly massive program!) so he just gets himself to and from rehearsals 🙂

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    • They certainly do keep growing up. It’s amazing how much more grown up she is than even this time last year. That’s very exciting for your boy. Good luck to him!

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  4. Oh my goodness, eight year olds?? That seems very young, I might let Libby audition when she’s old enough and eight seems rather soon! I’m glad it’s going well, great that your daughter came up with that solution herself, she sounds very sensible and selfless, she must have known it would be much easier for you if she got that bus. A very grown up decision.
    Nat.x

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    • my youngest was only 7 when she did her first panto last year and my eldest was 8 in her first. If the eldest hadn’t done it at 8 she wouldn’t have had the opportunity because she is so tall for her age and their height limit is so low. Neither of mine had any problems doing it do young, some of the older ones found it hard. It depends so much on the child themselves. mine don’t do sleeping in general and both are very very quick to pick up dances so found it all very straight forward really. I hate it all but they love it. it is hard work though for the whole family, less than 2 weeks of rehersals and over 4 weeks of shows, total of over 20 shows each child.

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      • Very similar demands here – three weeks of rehearsals and four weeks of performances – 26 shows in total. We have no height limit. I’m sure there are years when the biggest chorus members are taller than the main cast. The age range is 8-16, but last year there was a 17 year old chorus member in it.
        You’re right that it’s down to the individual child how much they can handle. Some aren’t ready for the hard work and commitment and some are!

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    • Thanks, it’s made life so much easier! I would have been exhausted and stressed out with all that driving.
      You don’t have to start at 8, not many do. My daughter started at 9, but lots start at 10 or even 12.

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  5. Bit sad you’re no longer needed, but exciting times with panto season coming round again. I used to get the bus instead of walking home, for my piano lessons. No idea how that worked, because I’m sure my mum never paid for it – a mystery

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    • It funny how we forget all these little details! I do feel a bit detached from it as I’m not spending time at the rehearsal venue, but I’m so pleased she has found a solution. I would have been very stressed out with all the driving and time involved otherwise!

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  6. It is weird when they start to be independent, isn’t it? I lt is quite nice to be needed. It does give you more time though which I suppose is always a good thing. I’m glad that the rehearsals are going well, it has all come round really quickly.

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    • Independence does come on quite suddenly! I don’t think I was quite expecting it yet with my daughter. I think it would have driven me mad doing all that driving, although I will have to do it for the final week of rehearsals (next week!) as she needs to finish school early. I quite miss my peaceful time sitting and reading though!

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  7. In a busy week those little moments of downtime can be so nice but I guess times change as they get older. Hope it’s all going really well and can’t believe it’s panto season already!

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    • Panto season has come round so quickly! I do miss my bit of downtime, but there’s no guarantee I would have peace anyway as there might be lots of other parent hanging around chatting! It is working out well having my daughter getting the bus.

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