The panto – opening performance!

Well, three weeks of intensive rehearsals have flown by and my daughter has done her opening panto performance!

This year, there was none of the relative glamour of opening night. With two teams of chorus, one gets the long straw of opening night and one gets the shorter straw of a 10am schools’ performance. It’s not something you would think about, but a lot of panto performances are in the daytime for school trips (and the occasional care home trip!). For the first two weeks of panto, there are two daytime performances a day. The schools’ audience is different from the regular audience – it’s noisier, more fidgety and generally more enthusiastic. But it can get bored, it can sit and chat and ignore what’s going in front of it. It can be a bit of a challenge for everyone on stage!

So my daughter was very slightly disappointed that her first performance was to be a schools’ performance. Luckily for me, and a couple of the other chorus parents, there were a few spare seats left. So my husband and I got a seat on the very back row for my daughter’s opening performance. I would have been gutted if we couldn’t see her very first show.

My daughter had told me a lot about the panto. The story is a bit harder to follow than last year’s Cinderella, but she was really enjoying rehearsals. She’d told me she had more dances and songs than last year and, remarkably, she suspected it might be even better than last year!

No wonder she couldn’t sleep the night before… It was about midnight when she dropped off. Not ideal for a girl who needed to be at the theatre in full make-up with immaculate hair at 9am. But she woke up full of the joys of spring. And why wouldn’t she? This was the day she’d been looking forward to since the last panto ended up 2nd January.

Daughter, Panto, Hair

The panto is written and directed by the same writer and director as last year. So there were similarities. But there were actually more differences. It started with a song by a lone male actor, before exploding into the opening dance number.

The best thing about sitting at the very back? You get to see the whole stage! So although my daughter was dancing on the back line, I could see her perfectly. And she was dancing very, very well, with a smile so big it looked like her face might burst. Similar to the smile on my face. I felt very emotional seeing her up there on stage. She looked so polished and professional.

After the dame (part David Walliams, part Matt Lucas, part Justin Fletcher) made his/ her first appearance, my daughter and the rest of the chorus were back with another song and dance routine. Their costumes are fabulous, they really seemed to have raised their game with them this year.

They were back again for a long scene in which they acted, with no singing and dancing at all. It was just great to see her on stage so much.

Then there was yet another dance, with another song, some more acting and, of course, another costume at the end of the first act.

I’m pleased to say that the young audience, while fidgety and noisy, were really enjoying the show and following the action. They booed at the bad guys and loved all the audience participation. There seemed to be more chance for them to get involved this year and they absolutely loved it. It must have been so rewarding for the actors and the chorus to see how much the kids were getting into the story and getting involved.

The chorus featured less in the second act, but the story hotted up, so there was no way I was going to get bored! They appeared again halfway through the act in another acting role and my daughter got to deliver her one and only line.

Towards the end of the show, the whole cast sang and danced to Can’t Stop the Feeling – the song I had predicted would be in the panto as soon as it was released earlier this year.

When my daughter was on stage, it was hard for me to look at anyone else, even the adult actors delivering their lines. No doubt I will look at everything else a bit more next time I watch. But I genuinely thought she was one of the two best dancers on stage, despite being the second youngest. In rehearsals, the choreographer actually said to the girls she wanted them all to dance with my daughter’s energy. Her moves are sharper and her smile never drops for a second. She is amazing and I’m so proud of her.

And then it was all over, apart from the finale, with the obligatory new, extra glamorous costume. Both the costumes and sets were fantastic this year.

After the show, my daughter demanded to know if it was better than last year. It was very, very good, but it’s too early to say whether it was better. I saw last year’s show six times, so I really got to know it well, and I loved it more each time I saw it. So I think I need to see this one a few more times before I can judge!

Then my daughter went back to her dressing room. Ready for her second performance of the day.


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Ahh! Well done your girl…It sounds like a great show and your girl sounds fantastic!
    You must be very proud! x

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    • Thanks very much! I am SO proud! I can’t wait to watch again 🙂 x

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  2. Ah I bet you were so proud to see her perform! My cousin’s daughter’s perform in panto so I know the hard work involved all round. Well done – both of you!

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    • Thanks very much! I was incredibly proud! It’s a huge commitment for both of us, but it is so worth it.

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  3. That’s brilliant, well done to her! I’m still trying to work out if we’re going to be able to make it next week. If not I’ll have to message you about the dates during school holidays, I’m hoping we’ll make it at some point. Congratulations on the award nomination, that’s brilliant and I’m off to vote 🙂

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    • Thanks very much! It would be lovely for you to go along and watch 🙂 Thanks very much for the vote too. x

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  4. Oh well done! Sounds like she did a great job.

    I’m really sad that our Year 4s don’t do a Christmas performance, no snivelling in the school hall for me this year!

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    • Thanks very much, she did brilliantly! I can’t wait to watch again.
      Our KS2 at school don’t really do a performance either – just a Christmas concert, which is nice, but not as exciting as a play!

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  5. Bet you were so proud of her – she sounds like a true professional! I can imagine putting on a panto is gruelling hard work but she sounds like she has what it takes! x

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    • Thanks very much! She was brilliant and I was extremely proud 🙂 x

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  6. Sounds wonderful Sarah, so glad you got to see her first performance. You must be so proud of her 🙂 Hope the rest of the run goes really well x

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  7. How amazing, she sounds like she did wonderfully and I think I would have just watched her too. I hope she has the best time these next few weeks. It sounds like she’s found her calling!

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  8. Oh wow, that is a lot of work for her, but I am sure that you must be absolutely delighted to see her up doing her thing on stage.

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  9. Ah I got goosebumps reading this, so I can only imagine how proud you must be seeing her up on the stage. What a beautiful, talented daughter you have Sarah x

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    • Thank you very much! What a lovely thing to say. I’m desperate to watch her again. She has now done six performances and I’m going to watch her again next Friday. One of the mums has already seen three performances! x

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  10. Ah this is so exciting! I almost felt as though I was there too. I love how committed you are and your girl will NEVER forget that about her time at the panto. So great to see a young girl super enthusiastic about something like this. I hope one day she gets one of those main parts! x x

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  11. You definitely can’t miss the first performance. Glad it went well, and sounds like she’s going to be a star in it throughout.

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  12. I’m so glad the first performance went so well for her. It sounds like she was going into a tough audience, I’m so glad it went so well. It sounds like she is having so much fun, which is great. I love the hair too, I need to learn how to do that.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

    Post a Reply


  1. Small Steps Amazing Achievements – 14/12/16 « AutismMumma - […] nearly Christmas and @sarahmo3w’s lovely lady had her opening performance of the […]

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