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Tuesday, 14 December 2010


I can't think of any other Christmas tradition that is more difficult to endure as an adult than a pantomine. The British pantomime is utterly despisable, every year it adheres to the same ideas, jokes and conventions of the previous years in a mind numbingly predictable way. The scripts are basically templates of one story, but with a few current jokes thrown in to modernise the play and mask the lack of originality.

Despite its massive shortcomings, a reported 3 million people a year will withstand a pantomime. The audience are made up of;

1. Children- Rabid children mainlining E numbers fill the theatre and scream, sob and soil themselves with excitement as they are hypnotised by the noise/colours of the show.

2. Parents bringing children- Parents are there for the "adult humour" that will feature intermittently in the script. They will smugly laugh to each other in a "oops, lets hope the kids don't understand that joke" privately cliquey sort of way.

Aside from the odd joke about something current, the only other feature to change in a pantomine every year is the cast. In an attempt to draw in more paying customers, pantomime productions always feature minor/local celebrities. The term "scraping the barrel" comes to mind when thinking of these Z listers, who you will have either never heard of or assumed dead. These "actors" are always people that have been unable to salvage their career, but seek redemption in pantomime. Oh its that bloke that was in Emmerdale, and that bird that was in Brookside....how exciting. Basically I don't give a shit if H from "Steps" is playing the genie at the the Rochester memorial hall, or if Tosh from "the Bill" is playing the fairy godmother at the Chichester festival house...its all shit!
These "actors" over-act in a camp "Carry On for Kids" fashion, and take about 10 minutes to explain one simple aspect of the storys narrative as they ham it up in a desperate attempt to entertain. The panto actors work as the puppet masters of their receptive audience, siphoning cheap laughs and audience participation at the appropriate moments. They hold the crowd in their hands, who will hypnotically act as prompted to and in many ways play as much of as a part of this masquerade as these pityful jesters.

As a child it was a family tradition to attend a pantomime with my cousins, a tradition I quickly grew tired of. Our family decided it was time to stop taking us when we started throwing things at actors, shouting abuse and ruining the sexual innuendo's by confirming them with comments such as "he's talking about his nob!" I remember enjoying parts of pantomimes as a child, but as a child I enjoyed anything that was loud and featured a lot of colours....so I can forgive myself.

OH NO IT ISN.....Seriously mate its fucking behind you. Now if you're finished extracting a self esteem boost to nurse your broken career, then kindly turn around and fucking get on with it you washed up old cunt!


  1. You have said exactly how I feel but I couldn't think of a way to word it but what you have said is bang on.

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