Sunday, 9 December 2007


For any non-Brits reading this, you might not be familiar with the peculiarly British tradition of Pantomime. Briefly, this is a form of comic theatre performed at Christmastime; alledgedly for children. It involves men pretending to be women, slapstick comedy, 'he's behind you' scenes, singing, dancing, kids being humiliated on stage and lots of other stuff. Typical stories are Cinderella, Treasure Island, Beauty and the Beast, Dick Whittington, Treasure Island and others. The scripts are normally butchered heavily to include local content and current affairs.

During our time in Dubai we have usually been involved in one way or another with the Pantos produced by Dubai Drama Group. I've been in one and helped design/construct/paint sets for many and operated sound for one; BetterArf has been in two or three and has written and directed one. Some years we were not involved, but we always made a point of going to see them.

There was one slightly tragic year. We were not involved at all but we had our tickets for the final performance (in those days DDG were able to sell out 11 performances, including 2 weekends with matinees on Thursday and Friday). Imagine our disappointment/pissed-offness when we arrived at the venue at 8.30 to find that the audience was just leaving. The show had started at 6.30. We had mis-read the info on the tickets, and missed it. Bugger!

Moving to Madrid, we were pleased to find a Brit-ish amateur theatre outfit, The Madrid Players. As soon as they resumed their activities after the summer break, we went along to say hello. Their first show of the season was going to be a Panto, Cinderella. There was no way that BetterArf could be involved: her work keeps her busy until 9.30 each weekday night. I had a shot at auditioning and was not surprised to not get a part. I did go along to the first set-building session, but they don't seem to do sets as I understand them: a few bits of painted cardboard seems to be adequate. Hmm. So I didn't go to any more set-building sessions, but I was keen to see the show - I know they have some very talented actors there - and to see how the painted cardboard things might work out.

This evening BetterArf called out from the depths of the bathroom: 'find out when the Panto's on, organise tickets!' So, off I go to the Madrid Players' blog. It's on on the 7th, 8th and 9th of December! We fecking missed it! Damn.


nzm said...

It's behind you!
It's behind you!


the real nick said...


On Sunday I will have to attend the Christmas play staged by Keystage 1 of Horizon School, Safa Park.
You are more than welcome to swap with me.