On Pantomimes

Jyothi Cross

Well, not just yet, but I thought I’d get you all into the festive mood to start the day off right… Sadly, only 6 days into December, the Christmas slump has got to me, and I’ve already rewritten this blog 5 times, as Santa has not yet gifted me any worthy ideas.

So, here’s the worst idea I could think of: Why we should ban Pantomimes. Please.

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1. They are, ultimately, incredibly cringy – It’s not fun to watch old men strutting around on stage pretending to be women and looking horrifically ugly. I can’t quite understand why it is so funny, we’re long past the days of mocking women, transgender folk, and Drag Queens, so why do we a continue a tradition of watching a ‘dame’ prance about on stage; simultaneously insulting themselves, the story, and the groups of people I previously mentioned.

2. Nobody ever does them very well – Of course this is a very broad comment, and I’m sure we’ve all seen good pantomimes in our lives, ones that made us laugh even. I’m also equally sure that your theatre group did an absolutely smashing version of Jack and the Beanstalk last year, but you do not account for the general trend. The general trend includes distasteful jokes about racism and gender, as well as some very poor acting on behalf of one person who signed up for a laugh. I don’t have a vendetta against any of the actors of course, just a severe dislike for pantomimes.

3. Audience participation – I’m all for audience participation, in fact I absolutely love it. Watching my peers get picked out and have the time of their lives is absolutely great, but do you know what? I never get picked. I. Never. Get Picked.

4. I never get picked – Now, this blog post wasn’t written to solve a personal vendetta I have against pantomimes. They are an age-old art form, descended from the time of the Greeks and yet there is something fundamentally wrong with them. And that thing, lurking deep in the depths of the sadistic world of pantomime is that I never got any sweets. They were never thrown to me, passed out to me, given as an award to me, and honestly this lack of audience-interaction-involving-myself ruined Christmas.

5. Christmas? Oh, sorry, it can’t come to the phone right now. Why? It’s dead. – Maybe I’m being a little overdramatic, but maybe I’m not. After all, if I can’t have it, why should anyone else?

This is why I argue that this house should move to ban pantomimes, because I never got picked to get sweets.