Oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is!
The ‘classic Disney’ Pantomime, Cinderella, is now showing at the Pavilion in Bournemouth until 2nd January 2011.
Singing. Laughter. Dancing. Sweets. Shrieking children and ice cream tubs. The majority of the population love this time of year, the ‘Panto season’.
The illuminating lights of hearts and disco balls create a warm and happy atmosphere inside the theatre. Michael Buble plays effortlessly in the background soothing the audience.
The two-hour long story tells the well-known story of Cinderella searching for her Prince Charming and along the way facing her evil step sisters and not so helpful, weak father. Her good friend Buttons offers help and assist along the way but repeatedly expresses his love for her in a cringe worthy manner. With a magical fairy godmother Cinderella’s dreams are made possible. Yet watching the performance I ask, have pantomimes changed?
The classic storyline remains the same but noticeable rude puns and jokes stole the show. Brilliant innuendoes made the show adult friendly. “It is a good night out for me as I can laugh along whilst the children follow the story of Cinders. I can enjoy a beverage or two at half time”.
The stars of the show contributed to the geographical based jokes (about Bournemouth) and cultural references: Chris Jarvis, CBeebies present, Amanda Barrie, from Coronation Street and Bad Girls, Tom Owen from Last of the Summer wine and Byron Mondahl, actor. They delivered one liners to perfection.
Bournemouth was described as a cemetery with traffic lights. The triangle was the place to find ‘fairies’. The town council were described as ‘wax works’. Town orientated humour worked effectively eliciting continuous laughter from the audience. The economic crisis was even mentioned in passing, “we can’t move as the house prices may go up” said the father to one of the step sisters. With good use of stage props (an Ann Widdecombe blow up doll), backdrops and outstanding costumes the audience was always entertained.
After a fun-filled show I braved the temperature outside and shivered eagerly waiting for the stars at the ‘backstage door’.
Byron Mondahl expressed his love for pantomime. “It has been amazing playing an ugly sister, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. We only had a week and a half to rehearse and then one week technical rehearsals.” Mondahl’s eyes glisten and he exhales a gentle sigh. “It has been so lovely and being here in Bournemouth. I have managed to see snow over the sea and sunshine over the sea. The celebrities in the pantomime are so down to earth and supportive. They have many stories from a long time ago and we just don’t get that anymore. It’s been a great pleasure… It has gone so fast. One moment your on stage performing then in a ‘hair’s breath’ we have to change and then run back on stage.” Mondahl leaves in a yellow taxi.
Chris Jarvis, originally from Bournemouth was the last to leave. “Very privileged job, y’know because we get to do a little bit of everything, work with amazing people and every year it is always different.” I concur. “Get to work with some amazing people, and not just big stars but people who are setting out, so much to give…energy. You learn from the pros and learn from the people who are full of life and setting out.” His genuine, warm voice was a comfort to standing on the Pavilion steps in the chilling night air.
Listen to the full interview between Chris Jarvis and myself on AudioBoo.
Overall, the pantomime was fun and uplifting. One parent said, “I love the fact it regresses adults back into big kids. It brings a family together as well”.
The only thing I think has changed about the pantomime is the price. It was a nicer price when I was under the age of twelve years old. The pantomime is a truly enjoyable and magical experience, and is definitely a fun night out for friends, families or couples. Book tickets to Cinderella.