Thursday, 15 December 2011

Panto again - oh, yes it is ...

More panto button pushing tomorrow afternoon.  The show has had two great reviews so far and audiences are going away very happy.

It's been interesting.  Of my four stints so far, three have been inhabited almost entirely by primary schools.  The fourth had a much, much older audience.  While the enjoyment levels have stayed the same, it's noticeable that the laughs come in different places and the cast perform differently. 

That's absolutely normal, in my experience.  Part of the point of live theatre is that the audience are part of the process.  With a panto, it's crucial because so much of it is based on direct interaction.  No fourth wall here.  Seeing the same show several times does highlight the subtleties that go into a performance. 

Of the two types of audience, I'd say that the older ones were far more prepared to let themselves go and enjoy.  Among the children, while the youngest just fell for the magic, the year 5 and 6s (aged about 10-11) were a bit wary about making fools of themselves.  Dignity kicks in at that age.  With their confident mature audience, the cast clearly felt relaxed enough to expand a bit on what they would do for a school audience.

Don't know what we have tomorrow, but I know for sure it will be different again.  Speaking of which, the cast must be in bits.  They've done eight performances in three days, one of them to a lot of highly critical press and sponsors.

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