Thursday, 12 August 2010

It's Panto Time - oh, yes it is!

“I love playing panto dame. It saves wearing a frock at home.” John Inman

I've just finished writing my last pantomime script for the year (hopefully!).  For those who don't know what panto is - I'll publish a blog on panto history soon, but  here's a bit about my scripts:

I really have my paternal grandparents to thank for my interest in theatre. They used to take my sister and I to see the pantomimes and Christmas shows at the Bristol Hippodrome each year. It was quite an occasion too! We used to go by taxi, which quite a thing, and invariably had seats near the front of the circle. This is still the area of a theatre I prefer to sit in. Front row of the circle, in the middle.

I can recall many of the people we saw – Danny La Rue, John Inman, Johnny Hutch and the Half-Wits, Jimmy Jewel. Wonderful! I also remember being fascinated by the musical director. I think his name was Derek New. Anyway, to me – remember, I was just a child – it always seemed like he was jumping up and down on his box as he conducted. He seemed to be having so much fun. Life is made up of such memories.

I still love pantomime today and so when the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, which represents the interests of amateur societies, asked if they could publish some of my scripts for performance by amateur societies I was thrilled. I dusted off some I’d written for performance at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre and worked with John Jardine and Roy Barraclough, both wonderful panto performers, to update some of their scripts. These are now performed up and down the country each Christmas.

Whether your society or group is a NODA member of not you need to apply to them for reading copies of scripts and for licenses if you are going to be performing in the UK. Visit

For professional performances, amateur performances outside the UK and for commissions please contact

Published pantomimes: Dick Whittington, Aladdin, Jack and the Beanstalk*, Robinson Crusoe*, Babes in the Wood, Sleeping Beauty, Father Christmas – the Pantomime, Cinderella*, Snow White, and Mother Goose.
*Co-written with Roy Barraclough MBE and John Jardine.

“Top-drawer double-entendre.” Rotherham Advertiser
“A pearl of a pantomime. Not to be missed. In fact, I went twice.” Retford Today
“Even on opening night, a ghost scene could still draw the kind of infant squeals of laughter you want to bottle!” Lancashire Evening Post
“This was the best pantomime I have seen whilst I have been the regional representative.” NODA Review

Please note the the pantomime posters displayed here are from previous years - don't try and book!

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