How many pantos?

When my daughter got into the panto for the first time last year, I said she could do it in year 5 and then not again until year 8. Because year 6 is important, with SATs, and year 7 is important, as she will be settling into her new secondary school.

I’d changed my mind about year 6 before the first week of rehearsals had even ended. Year 6 isn’t THAT important (shh – don’t tell any teachers I said that!). Yes, there’s SATs, but they’re more about the school than the child. And she’s really capable and will pass them easily anyway. And they’re not until May – five months after the panto.

So she’s doing the panto this year.

But not in year 7. She’ll have to settle into her new grammar school. And the auditions are in the middle of September and she’ll only have been there a couple of weeks. And… OK, I admit it. I’m crumbling a bit about year 7. It’s looking about 60/40 in favour of her doing the panto in year 7 right now.

There is a girl in the other team (she was in my daughter’s team last year) who is on her SEVENTH panto. There are other girls who are on their fifth. It’s addictive and, once you start, it’s very hard to stop. The girl on her seventh was in year 10 last year. I couldn’t believe anyone would do panto and miss school in YEAR TEN. She cried because she thought she couldn’t go back in year 11.

But she’s back. And there’s another girl in year 11 too. And there’s a fair few in year 10.

The plan for my daughter was always year 9, then stop.

I told my husband there are girls in year 11 doing the panto and I couldn’t believe it. And he shocked me by saying that he would be happy for my daughter to do it in year 11, as long as she was keeping up with her school work. This from the man who is constantly on my eldest’s back for not doing enough revision for his GCSE mocks.

So if my husband would be happy with year 11, I guess year 10 would be no problem at all?

Realistically, I can’t see my daughter doing the panto in year 11. Most schools have mocks before Christmas and they can’t miss mocks for panto, nor can they miss panto for mocks. When you sign up for the chorus, you are committing to attend every single rehearsal and every single performance – that’s 18 rehearsals and 28 performances. There is the possibility of swapping a performance with your ‘double’ from the other team, but they aren’t obliged to swap.

So how many pantos will my daughter do? It’s definitely going to be a lot more than my original estimate of three. Although I don’t think she’ll quite make it to seven!

Daughter, Panto, Hair


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. the max here is 4, they have to be under 4ft 10 inches and between 8 and 11 so the most they can possibly do is 4 and that is very unusual, normally they do 2 or 3. Daughter number 1 is already at the max height in her second year at only 9 so this is her last time and I think we will only let daughter number 2 do 2 years as well although she is probably going to be short enough to squeeze in a third year.

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    • I suppose that’s fair because it gives more kids the chance to have a go as the girls in our panto literally never leave! They’re not bothered about their height – some of them are as tall as the main actors. I think my daughter is 4 foot 10, so she would only manage two performances at your panto too!

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  2. I guess it is one of those things that you will have to work out as you go along. It is a tricky one about missing school and it would also depend on the school’s view I suppose but she obviously works hard and as long as she keeps up I don’t think Year 11 is such an issue. She might of course be fed up of it by the, but it does sound as though she has the bug.

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    • Somehow I can’t imagine her ever being fed up of it, but we will see what happens! For year 7 my main concern is whether she has settled socially before she starts missing school. We will just take it a year at a time, I guess!

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  3. Ah I think it’s great that she’s doing them! I’m sure she’ll know when she needs to stop, she seems very sensible. We’re hoping to come and watch because I know my little girl will want to do it in the future too!

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    • She absolutely loves it and I hope she knows when it’s the right time to stop. It would be great if you can watch! They could actually be in the panto at the same time! x

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  4. Sarah,

    Grammar school and panto should be of benefit to your daughter, but SATs…? I’d say you have your priorities in the right order.

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    • Thanks very much, you are so right! 🙂

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