He’s behind you!

22 Dec

We went to the panto last year, and I knew this year to book our tickets early so we could sit somewhere out of the corner pocket of the theatre — a theatre I love, by the way.   I’m a bit exhausted and overwrought by the darkness of the season, but here are a few photos of what was a fun evening out …

IMG_2831Remember that unique English tradition, the pantomime?  I really can’t explain it.  This year, our local panto included a professional clown, who brought all ages to howls of laughter with his slapstick high jinks.

IMG_2836Yes, the Dame is wearing the London Eye on her head.

IMG_2839The ethereal Fairy had a touch of goofiness this year, and the settings were just as colorful and fun as before.

IMG_2843This year’s nonsensical audience-particiation song was set to an Olly Murs tune and featured baking … this Crumpet enjoyed herself.

IMG_2847And because even I will learn if you show me the same thing over and over again (ie, no one just walks in to a restaurant during the holiday season, everything is booked weeks ahead), I booked dinner for the family back when I bought our theatre tickets (in October), and we walked through the holiday-lit solstice darkness for a kid-friendly meal after the show.

It’s been a struggle to get in to the holiday spirit this season, but this yearly tradition is irresistible.

(Have you wondered the whole way through this post what in the world the title means?  Pantos have a repeating series of lines that show up in every show, every year.  One is a call and response from a character to the audience, along the lines of “If you see so-and-so, you’ll tell me, won’t you?” To which the audience SCREAMS and shouts “He’s right behind you!”  The character turns the wrong way, the baddie gets away once again, and everyone yells and howls.  It’s totally ridiculous, but so much of England makes more sense after you’ve been to the panto.)


4 Responses to “He’s behind you!”

  1. RMW December 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    thanks for this post… brought a tear to my eye remembering my childhood Christmases in England… the pantomime was the highlight of my year and Dick Whittington my favorite… nice to know families still enjoy this tradition

    • Monique December 22, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

      Oh, thank you for commenting and I’m glad you enjoyed the post! We love the atmosphere at the pantomime. Tradition alive and well.

  2. Helen December 23, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    It was my first experience of a panto this week — we went to Snow White with, of all people, Priscilla Presley (!) as the Wicked Queen and Warwick Davis (better known as Professor Flitwick and as the officious goblin from Gringotts Bank) as Prof, the chief dwarf. In another small but gloriously renovated local theatre, all red velvet and gilt. Here’s a trailer which gives the atmosphere of the show:

    • Monique December 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

      Good gracious, when you decide to go to the panto, you don’t mess about! Looks amazing. I can see why you like London this time of year. 🙂

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