Musings of an Englishman who literally quit his life in Devon in mid-2012 to move to Tijuana to love a girl.
They ended up in San Diego where he became a TV anchorman (yes really...), they got married, and now they're living in England together.
Simple as that really.
Follow your heart, who knows where it will lead.

Crazy. Beautiful. Madness.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Oh, no it isn’t… oh, yes it is - the panto!

OH, NO it isnt… oh, yes it is.
It’s a blog about the annual British pantomime – or panto for short.
This past weekend saw my Mexican wife’s latest induction to her new life in England.
For those of you in the US and overseas, the dictionary definition of pantomime is this: a theatrical entertainment, mainly for children, which involves music, topical jokes, and slapstick comedy and is based on a fairy tale or nursery story, usually produced around Christmas.
After sitting through the hour-and-a-half performance at Plymouths Theatre Royal, Jackys definition of a pantomime is simply this: ‘It’s crazy.
The Christmas panto is a British tradition. It’s as British as you can get – and its roots reportedly go all the way back to the 16th century.

Men dress up as women, women dress up as men, they sing songs, tell rude jokes and just have a laugh.
It’s bonkers, bizarre and quite brilliant in its silliness.

I hadn’t been to the panto since my mum won tickets in a newspaper competition when I was about seven or eight.
And boy did I NOT notice the sexual innuendos back then.
The kids love the audience participation, and the colour and ridiculousness of it all – not least the songs and chorus of ‘he’s behind you… oh no he isn’t, oh yes he is…’ lines.
The adults love the clever (but silly) jokes, the double entendres, the forgotten lines and mistakes, and the occasional glances from the stars referencing how ridiculous it all is.
I couldn’t help but glance over at Jacks throughout the whole ordeal, sorry show, to check that she wasn’t horrified by what she was seeing.
The expressions on her face spoke volumes of her enjoyment of the show.

Panto selfie

Huge credit has got to go to the entertainer (and true star of the show) Bobby Davro who – on greeting the audience and revealing how happy he was to be back in Plymouth, went on to he’s the only entertainer of his age left who isn’t in prison” (referencing the ongoing sexual abuse scandals rocking the British entertainment industry).
Fair point.
And if the panto itself wasn’t crazy enough, the annual panto after show party made for a pretty wild night.

Here, on the top floor of the venue, saw a mix of panto stars and theatre employees, footballers, journalists and city businessmen – with a large shot of something very alcoholic.
“Youre hungover…?” friends asked us the morning after the show with a look of equal part disbelief and horror.
“You went to a kids pantomime and got drunk?!”
“Have you been to a panto recently…? Wow…” I smirked.
Times have changed…
A journalist colleague of mine told me recently that one year one of the previous stars of the Plymouth panto asked if he could do his interview lying down”.
The interview just so happened to take place the morning after the panto party.
Anyhow, watching the Christmas pantomime is another tick on the list.
Now were set for our first Christmas together in the UK.
Oh, yes it is… its CHRISTMAS!
Merry Christmas everyone!

Twitter: @tristan_nichols

1 comment:

  1. Ha Ha Brilliant! Even my Liz with English as her first language (Detroit) was amazed at her first panto in Bath back in 92.

    I did prime her on the basics before we went into the theatre which she joined in but most of it was laugh when everyone else did.

    I still find panto ridiculous and love it for being so

    Have a lovely Christmas both of you - Felice Navidad