This Christmas, renowned British dancer, director, choreographer, actor and panellist Wayne Sleep will perform in pantomime at Milton Keynes Theatre.
Before the rehearsals began, Wayne had a bit of a chinwag with Georgina Butler…
Famous for being the shortest male dancer to ever attend The Royal Ballet School (he is 5’2″), Wayne Sleep is best known for his career as a celebrated Senior Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet. Numerous roles were created for him by some of the world’s greatest choreographers and he frequently featured as a guest artist with other companies.
Appointed OBE in 1998, Wayne has also received honorary degrees from the Universities of Exeter and Teesside; is a Patron of the British Ballet Organization; is a Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Dance and has two entries in The Guinness Book of Records. In addition to dancing, Wayne also acts and makes appearances as a dance judge and celebrity. His credits include West End, regional and touring theatre productions; television shows and films – not to mention a plethora of pantomimes!
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!
“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)