MUSICAL THEATRE PANTO – SO MUCH FUN! December 2017

by Ken MacDougall

Well, here we are in the middle of Pantoland. It has been fun watching all versions of the show and seeing the great reactions. The rush of the school shows when 400 kids are screaming. The wonderful mix of the Family shows when the adults chuckle at the jokes just for them and the kids laugh and boo the bad guy. The raucous good times of the Naughty shows…

What they all have in common is tradition. Many schools have been coming for years. What I love about school audiences and the kids in the Family show is you never know what they are going to say. Aunt Violet, one of the characters in Little Red was telling a joke in one show. She asked the kids, “Where do crayons go on vacation?” A kid yelled out, “Grandma’s house!” You never know what is going to come out of their mouth and you have to be ready for it!

I talk to people who say they have been coming with family and extended family for 10 years or more. Groups who dine in the upper Burrell Hall and have been getting together for Christmas cheer, year after year. I chatted with a Grandmother whose Grandchildren have graduated to the Naughty show. I am always amazed when a couple of people per show, walk past me and say, “Chop Chop, Woody” – a reference to a character I played in Panto sixteen years ago. But it has become tradition to so many families, friends and co-workers.

One of the most moving stories from Little Red, is a group of five that have been coming for many years. Well, this year, their group number shrunk by one. Instead of dropping from five seats to four, the remaining members kept the fifth seat of their departed friend and placed a picture in her place. They retired the picture in our gallery upstairs in the Upper Hall. A lovely story and I am glad that SFT has been part of so many lives over the years.

Oh, well, back to work. The phones are still ringing in the box office and shows are filling up. If you haven’t booked yet, there is still time; the show runs till New Year’s Eve. Please call the box office 613-395-2100 or visit us online at stirlingfestivaltheatre.com. It is going to be a busy December. Then it is on to 2018. More about that next time.