With Covid restrictions lifted, a night at the theatre has been one of the great joys of life many people have been able to resume in recent months. Now, as winter approaches, this will include the opportunity to enjoy a great Christmas pantomime.
The north will play host to many great shows over the coming season, which may inspire many watching to take up acting courses for adults.
For instance, in Greater Manchester the Palace Theatre will host White Christmas, both Oldham Coliseum and Bolton’s Little Theatre will show Aladdin, while Bolton’s main theatre the Octagon will show a Christmas Carol. The Plaza in Stockport will feature Dick Whittington and the Lowry in Salford will have The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
On Merseyside, Liverpool’s Empire Theatre will show the Muppets Christmas Carol in Concert, while the Everyman and Playhouse will put on a rock and roll version of Robin Hood. There’s also Cinderella at The Atkinson in Southport, Goldilocks and the Three Bears at St. Helen’s Theatre Royal and Father Christmas Comes up Trumps! at the Gladstone Theatre in Port Sunlight.
Over in West Yorkshire, highlights include Wendy and Peter Pan at the Leeds Playhouse, while Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre presents Sleeping Beauty and the Victoria Theatre in Halifax will put on Jack and the Beanstalk.
Although pantomime is seen as a modern British genre, it actually developed out of the 16th century Italian commedia dell’arte, with lots of costumes, actors playing multiple roles and comedy. Important actors included the Zannis, from which the word zany is derived.
The first British adaptation of this style was the Harlequinades of the 17th century, which gradually morphed into the panto style we all know and love today.
If you enjoy a panto this year and want to take up acting, you should grab the opportunity while you can, before the season slips by and “it’s behind you”.