Begin where you are – Use what you have – Do what you can
Our cousins , the French , don’t fudge their words, and nor should we, now that it’s curtain up on our precious “Sleeping Beauty”.
By now all 4 PACE PANTO TEAMS will have opened their Panto, even for a foxier Two , by all accounts followed up with an excellent second show.
And though I have yet only witnessed the first of these 4 debuts as audience ( in Team 1’s case – a spectacular sight)
I feel as if already, this show is beginning to flex its own dramatic wings , ready to fly through this run << Avec elan ! Avec esprit ! Et pLein d'aplomb >>
After all , this is only just the beginning , a whole other experience lies ahead , now that as “young actors” , you have the right performance stuff to act with.
This Panto is ” a good’un” – really it is – it’s fast paced , very funny , oh so romantic and “tout a fait” enchante – the right ingredients for 2 hours of ” amuse bien ” this Christmas Time.
And much as a good chilling “Ibsen” play leaves you Skandi-cold ,this little festive fantasy of ours , leaves you all fuzzy- Suzy and cosy on the inside – Joy would definitely approve and though you might not know who “Ibsen” is or what the ” Skandi- cold ” I’m talking about , just know that Sadness might be very happy there.
It’s all just an Inside Out way of saying : get Christmas cracking on those better CORE memories here.
( and watch Inside Out if you haven’t seen it , to get any of what I’m going to talk about – possibly one of the best emotional films ever and I’m not talking kids movie either )
Golden gems of any family-friendly , lovingly crafted and joyful delivered entertainment , like Inside Out , like our Panto , are rare to find these days – Pantomime itself is a fading art , and will eventually like Coomedia Del’Arte soon pass on into the drama history books , to be replaced by a whole other Art form. Maybe refereed to now and again , as reference for another plays muse full direction.
What is it about PACE Pantos that keep the crowds coming back for more?
Is it the simplicity of their intent ? To lift the hearts and spirits of PACEly Buddies through a more innocent natured play?
I think so…I think this is our gift to our Paisley audiences at Christmas.
From the moment the curtain opens on our brighter PAC world we say:
” … forget the outside and come inside! Everyone’s here for you , we want to make you smile , make you think the thoughts of a sweeter humanity once more …”
A simple thought , but one which counts a lot for an audience in visiting any theatre at Christmas Time.
It always “piques” me slightly , when I hear people say “they don’t do Chritmas Pantomime ”
What does that even mean ?
Why wouldn’t you want to let yourself smile a litlle at the self-less effort of entertaining others ; those who make you remember what it is to just play ?
Seeing those “5 year old girls-brigaders” in our audience on Thursday’s opening night show , reminded me so vividly , that “acting” is at its most powerful when it reaches out beyond the pretension of “a fourth stage wall” and lifts its audience up and through imagined the ” them/us ” blocks and right onto stage with it.
Acting as an Art is surely just a means of communicating with the being , the soul of “others” and when at its most giving, is the most powerful communicator of all .
How those little girls laughed , how they let their bodies go as they danced along to the moving steps of others…
How they shouted in anger at the wrong doing of the evil they saw , how they booed , how they screamed , how they sighed with content and giggled heartily , as they saw “sweet-love” before their innocent eyes young eyes
How they smiled the smiled of “princesses” once more…
And for any 5 year old that’s got to be the best magic of all!
If you think about it less selfishly , this Panto isn’t really for us – It’s for them , and all the little Princes who equally sit watching, eyes wide open for adventure, wanting to rescue princesses, finally be themselves , live their lives and save the day.
For we are litlle , only for the briefest of moments, and nowadays briefer yet.
A phone, a laptop , an iPad , a Mac book , a television screen will shape our lives so quickly , when finally delivered through the push of our chosen button.
But then there’s always the Theatre , to change you back again – the seeing place, as the Ancient Greeks called it
Theatre can let you wander mindful and freer , for a few hours even , maybe let you look at a bigger, brighter more affecting picture without fear of comment or approval.
Without being afraid of our silent others not liking right away what you see , and just feeling what is going on inside you as a more honest reaction.
Emotions are at their most raw and open in the theatre , more immediate and certainly at their most precious in any actor’s hands.
Youth actor right through to professional
…and maybe a little more honest in the hands of the first, because you know by now better than all , there’s only one way to be : Free.
So my point ?
To Remember your audience in this run. Remember them every time you take to your magical Panto stage.
Just because those audiences don’t look FIVE to you anymore doesn’t mean they arent all still a little “5” deep down inside .
Core memories quickly resurface when the right buttons are pushed, to make us think back to when it didn’t matter how we laughed or cried , how we smiled or frowned , how we maybe danced around living rooms or bedrooms wearing towels on our head to imagine we had the longest hair most beautiful hair of any princess , when we ran around our garden defending invisible universes from evil. When we lived for the moment and didn’t worry about any Life, but our make believe one.
I wish I had that chance to play again.
To play , but know , that you are making our community , our humanity even , that little bit better , just for a precious Christmas staged-moment.
Acting Notes will always make you better at practical stage delivery ; but memory , the senses , imagination , and the spirit of believing with a more open-mind , will always make you a more giving actor in the longer run.
Listen to your audience next time you are ” out there ” – listen to their energy , their mind , their presence.
If you can’t feel them , read them or touch them – then you are not giving enough of yourself.
So begin SIMPLY here , access your CORE and DO WHAT YOU CAN to change them – for Panto GOOD .
Have a great PACE Panto time this December . See you all magically “out there” soon and here again for wise fairy godmother wisdom….
Joyeux Noel !