The (amateur) panto opening night

After over three months of rehearsals, my daughter’s new panto finally opened last week.

She was very excited about it, although also very tired after lots of late nights at the theatre. I was very excited too. It had been a very long wait.

This panto had a huge cast – main characters, kids’ speaking roles, a chorus including (mainly) adults and kids, plus the dancers. My daughter was a dancer and that was absolutely the right thing for her to be.

It opened, as pantos generally do, with a big song and dance number. And the dancers really shone. All of them, not just my daughter. Ironically for an amateur panto, these dancers are much better at dancing than the chorus members of my daughter’s usual panto. They’re generally older (my daughter was the youngest) and, apart from my daughter and her friend, they’ve all been doing it for years.

The dancers did a mixture of high energy jazz routines and beautiful ballet routines.

The sets and costumes were every bit as good as the professional panto and the jokes every bit as funny. The main difference of course is that the acting wasn’t quite as good (although the best of the actors were nearly as good) and the singing was OK, but not brilliant.

But I still enjoyed it. All of it, not just the bits with my daughter in it.

My husband and the boys didn’t enjoy it, although my husband loved seeing my daughter of course. He felt the dancers should be in it more (and he definitely had a point there). The boys found it all a bit ‘cringe’.

I will never tire of seeing my daughter on stage, though. Having initially planned to see it twice, I ended up seeing it three times. Because seeing my daughter on stage will always be special, whether it’s an amateur or professional production. Oh yes it will!

And it’s already finished. Just five performances over the course of four days, yet more rehearsals than she had for around 25 performances over five weeks for her professional panto.

She was very sad when it was all over. With the rehearsals initially being only weekly, it had taken her longer to fall in love with it and longer to bond with the girls, but she got there in the end. She will miss those girls every bit as much as she missed the girls at the usual panto. They all had a brilliant time.

Daughter, Panto, The (amateur) panto opening night

Author: Sarah Mummy

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15 Comments

  1. I’m so glad it went well and it sounds as though it did make up in part for not being in the other panto. Let’s hope that the other theatre see sense for next year but at least you know there is this to fall back on now if not.

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    • Thanks very much! In the end it worked out really well. It is good to know she has this option for the future.

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  2. Must be so hard for her when it’s all over, as it has been a huge part of her life for the past few weeks and months. You must feel incredibly proud when you see her on stage x

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    • Thanks very much. I do feel so proud when I see her on the stage. She really does shine. x

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  3. Aww! That is such a shame that it only ran for four days. It sounds like your daughter had fun taking part and you seeing it.

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    • She really did. It would have been lovely to do a few more performances.

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  4. I’n glad she had a great time in the end! I wonder what you guys would make of our local panto – this year a version of the Wizard of Oz where the scarecrow character was a joint called the Stoned Crow.

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    • That sounds very interesting! I didn’t even know they had panto anywhere outside the UK.

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      • It’s not a thing here in Canada – although the local one is fast becoming a tradition. Most people haven’t heard of them and they have to explain the call and response at the start of the performance!

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        • I always think panto must seem very weird to someone who has never seen it before. When you stop and think rationally, ‘I’m a grown woman sat in a theatre shouting ‘Oh no you didn’t”, it does seem rather odd!

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  5. I’m so glad the panto went well and she enjoyed it after all you went through with the other panto. It would be nice if she has a choice as to which one to take part in next year!
    Nat.x

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  6. Your daughter will also remember how much you LOVED to see her on stage. I think it’s wonderful that she enjoys it so much, no wonder you love to watch her! Fabulous that it was ‘almost’ as good as the other one in so many ways. x

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    • Thanks very much. It turned out to be a very good substitute – so much so that she’s wondering if she could do two pantos next year! I never tire of seeing her on stage. She really shines every time. X

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  7. She was fantastic Sarah. I enjoyed watching it. I will admit that there were a few “cringe” moments, but not the parts your daughter was in. She’s a very talented dancer. Bunny and I are glad we went, we had a lovely time watching it. xx

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    • Thank you! That’s such a lovely thing to say. I really appreciate you both making the effort to go and see her. x

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