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It’s behind you!

January 8, 2014

“Oh no it’s not! Oh yes it is!” Panto – it’s my favourite time of the year. Majority of theatres in the U.K. will have a pantomime and that means plenty of work for people like me. However this is a mainly American-based blog which means you probably don’t know what I’m talking about so let me explain;

Pantomime includes songs, slapstick comedy and dancing, employs gender-crossing actors, and combines topical humour with a story loosely based on a well-known fairy tale.( for more details look at: In other words it’s completely and utterly bonkers!

My involvement with pantomime started in 2011 when I got asked to work a local professional pantomime as lighting and sound operator. The next year I got asked by their local rival to come work for their pantomime as deputy stage manager and this year I have returned again for their production of Aladdin so here’s a little run down of the joys and difficulties of this particular job.

My show schedule is crazy and that means having a social life is difficult. Luckily majority of my shows have finished by 8pm which means I’ve managed to get to the pub with friends and my boyfriend. On the plus side I love hanging out with the cast and especially the crew – one of my greatest nights out this year was with the cast and crew in Manchester a couple of weeks ago (very messy, lots of singing and a very rough head the next day!) The only way to survive is to hope that your friends and family understand that this schedule is required.

Pantomimes usually have a very short rehearsal time followed by a very busy run of shows – normally two shows a day, 6 days a week. It means we don’t have a lot of time before the opening show to work out problems, meaning lot of things change and improve as the show goes on. Of course this means mistakes happen or things don’t work especially when there are tech-heavy moments such as the flying carpet causing stress and occasionally arguments. Also our crew is permanent; 4 of us our full-time and then we have various people who come in and out when they can. It makes it difficult to set tasks to individual people when everyone’s skill rate is different therefore we generally just do what is needed.

I may have moaned a lot however I’m very grateful to have this chance to work for an amazing company on a brilliant show. I’ve met some awesome people and have gained some fantastic memories. Pantomime will generally be a part of my life forever and I hope this company is as well. Now my one day off is being spent watching a pantomime – dedication! Hope you all had a wonderful festive period!

Heather Sig

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2014 3:37 pm

    aaa yes! I LOVE the panto! Such an amazing post!

    For more info on the history of the Scottish Panto I recommend this research completed by the University of Glasgow:

  2. Tattooed Theatre Student permalink
    January 12, 2014 7:51 am

    Hahaa joys of another british blogger who actually understands this tradition! That is very interesting – I will definitely read it (: plan to use pantomimes as my dissertation topic in third year x

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