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Anyone with DC in pantomime?

(35 Posts)
ThirdPosition Mon 21-Dec-15 18:01:43

I'm Exhaaaaaauuusted...

Oh no you aren't...

Oh yes, I am...

Just wondering if anyone else has given up Christmas to watch their DC appear with ex -Emmerdale stars and old x-factor types... two DDs doing their first season in panto this year and it's a bloody whirlwind.

Mississippimudpie Tue 22-Dec-15 14:43:55

Yes my dd is doing her second year in panto, is hard work and I'm constantly dropping off or picking her up but she loves it! I find the rehearsals the hardest part as its every day. Now she's in full pantomime swing it's only every other day.
Are your girls enjoying it?smilesanta

UhtredRagnorsson Tue 22-Dec-15 15:42:08

This is DD2's 6th year. Yes, it is exhausting. But she adores doing it and she is adamant that she can't imagine Xmas without being in the panto - in fact she can't really remember Xmas before the panto she says (which I find well dubious since she was 7 the first year and I know she remembers things from when she was 2. Perhaps not Xmas specifically though). Our panto has 3 lots of kids so she is in a 2 days on 1 day off rotation at the moment, but she has Xmas eve and Xmas day off which is great. The worst bit is the pickups because while she gets changed quickly, some of the younger ones don't and they won't let anyone leave until everyone is ready to leave since the chaperone can't be in the changing room and at the stage door at the same time. The first week was the worst, while there were 3 shows a day (with morning and afternoon school matinees) and school was still on - she had 2 days off school, one day where she got back on the school bus after 5 and had to be at the theatre for 6, and one day where she finished panto at 5 and had to be 30 miles away for the school carol concert at 6. But we coped. And she's happy.

ThirdPosition Tue 22-Dec-15 19:22:04

Thank you, yes, they are enjoying it, and it's a lot easier now school has broken up. Ours have three teams, so it isn't as bad as some. The production is making a fortune out of us, as by the time you've dropped them off it's not worth going home, so I might as well get a ticket...I think I know the show as well as the cast by now ;)

I'm very, very glad of the mild weather as there's so much driving. First week was much the worst as was juggling school, work and Christmas craziness. It's worth it though when I see them smiling so much on the stage star star

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 23-Dec-15 21:49:56

yep we have a panto DD here too - she loves it, I am exhausted and frankly quite fed up but then I look at her and think how could I stop her doing it.

2 teams here so she has a show most days, some days 2 shows. 25 shows in total.

We are lucky though - we are only a few miles away so not too bad driving there and back although it is tiring.

first year of it here - have to let DD2 do the same as I let DD1 do though so not yet decided if we will cap it at 1 year each or 2.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 23-Dec-15 21:50:13

certainly not doing 6 years!!!!

Witchend Sat 26-Dec-15 14:51:41

Yes, 3 dc in, but only a short run and after Christmas so rehearsals about to go up a gear. I'm bored of it already though.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sat 26-Dec-15 18:58:37

are all 3 in the same shows Witchend? I have visions of them being in different teams on at different times and you just living in the car.

nooka Sat 26-Dec-15 19:45:23

My dd is in her first panto this year, and I think it will also be her last, although I guess she might forget how frustrating it's been by the time next year comes around. She only has seven performances, and dh and I will only go to one, mostly because we both hate pantomime! We've rounded a few other people to go to a couple of the other shows so she's happy about that.

I'm glad everyone else's children are enjoying it!

ThirdPosition Sun 27-Dec-15 17:33:11

Had a few days off, back to the slog glamour tomorrow. Ugh, I'm so over pantomime now. Even DD's seem to have lost their enthusiasm,but that may change when they get the spangles on.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 27-Dec-15 20:24:00

I was anticipating there being days DD wouldn't want to go and do it but she is ready early every time, desperate to get to the theatre.

nooka - what has been frustrating where you are? During rehearsals where DD was tired after school etc and I was running around with DD2 as well doing all her after school stuff, taking DD1 and collected DD1 and then dance exams too I was very fed up with it, first week or so of shows I was so nervous for her (opening weekend I had a fixed grin because I didn't want her to see I was nervous) but now we are so near the end I have actually started to think, perhaps we will let her try again next year.

nooka Sun 27-Dec-15 21:07:40

Well my dd is I suspect much older than quite a few of the panto children here (she is 15) and the main issue is that she thinks that her director just isn't very good. She has been in lots of productions before and clearly the panto director has a very different style to previous directors. She is in the chorus and has a lot of dance numbers which they have practiced many many times. However they haven't done many whole cast rehearsals and managed to get to their first performance without a full dress rehearsal.

dd was horrified! It sounds like she wasn't the only one who thought that this was pretty poor time management, but there is a significant lack of theatre space in our town, so they only got the stage a day or two before the first performance, which obviously made things very difficult.

Anyway now the performances have started she's much happier. They've had full houses (the theatre seats over 1000) and lots of very happy very participatory children. She's taken a very active role as a stage hand as well as her chorus role so she's feeling much more part of things (we discouraged her from auditioning for a main role as it added another six hours of rehearsal every week) and she's ended up on stage a lot sorting out all the snafus, so while she doesn't say anything she gets to be quite expressive!

Also on the way home yesterday we stopped off to gets some McDonalds and she was recognised by a granny (she'd been very worried about the custard pie that had got splattered on the stage - dd got to clean it up smile)

UhtredRagnorsson Mon 28-Dec-15 10:36:19

That's surprising. Is it a professional production? The pantos that DD2 has done, they have always done full tech and dress rehearsals for each team (so the main professional cast had 3 full dress rehearsals). And a couple of other full cast rehearsals in the rehearsal rooms rather than in the theatre. The conditions of the insurance mean that everyone has to be at tech and dress. Or at least that's what we have always been told.

This year seems to be DD2's favourite year so far (it's not my favourite, I don't think...it's very good but nothing will ever top the one a few years ago). We are already resigned to the fact that she will be doing it next year.

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 28-Dec-15 20:19:18

gosh no dress rehearsal is shocking. Ours got in the theatre 3 days before the first show - I think there was 1 tech rehearsal which seemed to last a day and a half and then 2 dress rehearsals so the tech was split between children's teams and the dress rehearsals were one each. Does sound like someone really didn't plan your daughter's one well but isn't that lovely that she is able to use all of HER experience to help make it all run so smoothly! she has plainly learned some brilliant skills and she will be able to continue to use them in the future.

I think this year ours have been blessed with a really lovely main cast. I gather some years this isn't the case. not that they aren't nice, just that they aren't AS nice if that makes sense. This is our only experience of it so I don't really know but certainly the main cast are making the children feel important and valued and part of it all.

elephantoverthehill Mon 28-Dec-15 20:28:05

Yes DD is doing panto for the 3rd year. She loves it and it helps her confidence. Due to the schedule and 2 teams we were able to get to my Mum's for Christmas this year. The only problem is she managed to leave her character shoes at Mum's, we only discovered this when we got to the ferry port. so she is having to perform in shoes 2 sizes too big. I don't really like panto but this year they have got some better actors/characters so it was quite enjoyable.

balletgirlmum Mon 28-Dec-15 20:34:20

Dd did panto 4 years ago. She enjoyed it & I'm glad she got the chance but it impacted hugely on our family Xmas and younger ds.

The panto opened early December & closed Mid January so even with 3 teams it was a lot of shows.

Her school doesn't allow the children to audition for panto now so no more (at least until she graduates)

Witchend Mon 28-Dec-15 22:58:19

Yes, all three in the same one, but the youngest is in a different chorus so rehearsals so far have been different. From next week they're the same though.
They've all done it from when they're 5yo, so dd1 is on her 10th year.
Unless the bullying situation in their group us sorted though it may well be the last year. And it's unlikely to be sorted as guess who the main bully is the dd of...

Biscuitsneeded Mon 28-Dec-15 23:06:19

DS doing panto for the 2nd time, and loving it. He has 38 performances in total, two teams of kids. He gets a rare day off tomorrow. It is a bit of a slog for parents but for us it's very local as we live in the city - some kids come from 30 miles away!!

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 28-Dec-15 23:41:11

wow lots with LOADS of shows. I thought 25 shows was a lot. The most any of ours can be a juvenile is 4 years because of the age and height restrictions and it is quite rare to be small enough to do 4. I think they tend to do 2 or 3. I honestly don't know how some of you have done it for so many years.

nooka Tue 29-Dec-15 02:28:31

It's semi-professional I think, and small scale, only seven shows and no stars (panto is not big here, a bit of an English curiosity although they've had big audiences). The crew are all paid but none of the cast.

nooka Tue 29-Dec-15 02:31:45

Oh and my dd is nearly 6 ft, are children usually quite little in your shows? There are a fair few younger kids in her show, but most of the smaller roles are teenagers.

UhtredRagnorsson Tue 29-Dec-15 14:22:11

Nonickname - DD2 started when she was 7. They raised the lower age limit in the next year to 9 but they let her be in it anyway because she was one of the most experienced - she was the smallest child in the chorus for the first 4 years she did it. This year (she's 12) she's technically in the senior chorus but she is actually smaller than at least a couple of kids in the junior chorus (different team though). She is noticeably smaller than the other girls in the senior chorus but she has a feature role which means she is only on stage with all of them in the finale - the rest of the time she is either with one other girl (who is also a bit smaller though not smaller than her) or the adult professionals. I think if that role hadn't been available she'd have either still been in the junior chorus this year or left out. As it is, she has her own costume (all the other kids share with their equivalents in other teams). If she was in say a QDOS show - she wouldn't be. Because they are really strict about fitting the already made costumes (I have a friend who stars in QDOS pantos every year and he has told me how strict they are with the kids). This is a professional show but small scale so the flexibility is there.

balletgirlmum Tue 29-Dec-15 14:26:29

When dd was in panto she was actually chosen because someone dropped out & her dance teacher was asked to reccomend a child of the right dance standard & the right height to fit the costume.

The same costumes were used for three teams. The age was 9-14

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 29-Dec-15 21:26:27

ours have to be under 4ft 10 and between 8 and 11. yes ours have to fit set costumes because it is a big panto company.

elephantoverthehill Tue 29-Dec-15 22:05:15

Penultimate performance tonight, only one more drop off and pick up. Phew.

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