You don’t go to see a pantomime without expecting some kidding around and Peter Pan at Milton Keynes Theatre is guaranteed to bring out the child in everyone.
This year’s Yuletide extravaganza is an awfully big adventure that gives the tale of the boy who refuses to grow up a swashbuckling new lease of life.
Excitement was in the air when I attended a marvellous matinee performance on Friday. With Christmas Day itself less than a week away, youngsters from local schools – including Deanshanger Primary, Springfield Lower and Woodland Middle – were ending the term in seasonal style with a festive theatre visit.
Pantomime is probably one of the first experiences that most children have of the theatre. Going by the wide smiles and screams of delight (as every juvenile in the auditorium joined in with rounds of “he’s behind you”), the next generation of theatre-goers are well and truly hooked!
DO NOT MISS ‘THE CHRISTMAS PARTY’
The tree may not be up quite yet but now we have entered November there is a definite sense that Christmas – and the Christmas party – is not too far away. The shops are full of decorations and gifts; festive functions are being planned; and, more importantly, author Carole Matthews has a brand new seasonal paperback out.
The Christmas Party is Carole’s 25th novel and she has marked this impressive milestone by producing yet another warm, witty and wonderful story. Despite having penned so many unique and unputdownable tales, it seems that there is no shortage of ideas in this lovely lady’s imagination.
Drawing on inspiration from her own attendance as a guest at corporate Yuletide shindigs, Carole has created a cast of memorable and believable characters associated with the Milton Keynes office of a fictional oil company.
The book is set over just a few days: the day of the Christmas party, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This may seem an exceptionally short timespan but it works very well and an awful lot of action is deftly packed into the narrative.
Through Carole’s usual lively prose, readers are introduced to various Fossil Oil employees and their other halves. With little preamble, we soon delve into their personal lives and are privy to the secrets – both romantic and professional – that make this Christmas party a night to remember for all concerned.
“I suppose it’s like the ticking crocodile, isn’t it?
Time is chasing after all of us.” (J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan)
Family favourite Peter Pan is the pantomime that will be sprinkling fairy dust over audiences at Milton Keynes Theatre this Christmas.
This year is flying by and there is no greater indication that Christmas is just around the corner than the press call for the official launch of Milton Keynes Theatre’s annual pantomime.
Family favourite Peter Pan will be spreading festive cheer this year and the performers seem just as enchanted by the magic of panto as the theatregoers who flock to see them in action.
Lots of dance on television makes for a cracker of a Christmas
Christmas makes its presence felt as soon as the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing waltzes onto our television screens. When the sequin-covered participants take their first tentative steps onto the dance floor, I just know that the final quarter of the year will whizz by and, shortly, the winner will be lifting the coveted glitterball trophy, before the nation frantically finishes decking the halls.
Pantomime season means flocks of families visit the theatre for some festive cheer, while traditional productions of The Nutcracker (on stage and on screen) attract balletomanes and newcomers alike.
But, once cosseted in our homes for the celebratory period (whether just for the big day itself, or for an extended break), it is more often than not the television that we rely on for entertainment. Dance fans were spoilt for choice with plenty of telly treats this Christmas. If this time of year is all about indulging in what you enjoy, I certainly fulfilled the brief when it came to setting time aside to view some gorgeous productions.
Alina Somova in The Mariinsky Ballet’s 2011 production of The Nutcracker (photo by Valentin Baranovsky, sourced from SpectiCast.com)