Friday, 1 January 2016


Look at me, getting right back into the blogging malarkey! My third post in how long? Go me! 
So since I have been neglectful of my blog recently I thought I'd do another little post like 'Getting Festive' to let you all know a little about what I've been up to over Christmas. Renditions of my families television schedule, cooking traumas, or my uni work to-do list might have been a little dull, so to insure you don't fall asleep I'm talking Panto! We all know Panto; the Christmas time chortles, the female prince and man in drag, fairy tale gone a little mad scenario, usually featuring some forgotten celebrity - know what I'm talking about yet?
In my last post, Exeter Cathedral Choir Concert, I spoke about one of my little family traditions, but this post is all out with the old and in with the new! Actually that's not really true, in a way it's still about traditions - those old old old long dead traditions. Everyone has seen at least a few pantomimes! (If not I'm sure you're an anomaly!) Pantomime is a huge part of British Christmas culture.  Remember the school trips and going with your family? Screaming and shouting those 'Boos' and 'Hoo-rahs!' with waayy too much excitement and enthusiasm. The Ice Cream at the interval and running to the bathroom to avoid the queue. Am I bringing back any of those ol' memories yet? Are you not yet almost brought to tears by the recollection of such happiness at such a simple time?
Okay, I'll stop being soppy. If you can't relate or haven't quite twigged it yet; pantomime felt like a HUMONGOUS part of my childhood Christmases. I saw a fair few in my younger years, once I'd moved back to England, and I could probably say with all confidence it was my favourite part of Christmas as a child. Family, food, comedy and fairytales - what's not to love!? 
Somehow it was a love I'd managed to almost forget at my ripe old age of 21, until my darling mother decided to  surprise my Sister and I with tickets to Bristol Hippodrome's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves this Christmas. Do I even need to try and explain just how happy and excited I was by this!? (If so, to keep a long story short, VERY). 
But was all my enthusiasm to be met with disappointment? Would it be too childish? or dull? 

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Short answer; no. Or atleast not to me. My sister did happen to comment on it being rather childish in places,  but still enjoyed it. But who cares what she thinks anyhow, this is my blog and only my opinions count...
For me, I was a child again, right in with them with all the shouting and singing, just I understood the innuendos too and may have laughed just a little bit too loud. Saying that the inclusion of Shaun the Sheep was completely lost on me. No, your eyes don't fail you, Shaun the Sheep was one of several celebrity guests. He didn't seem to add anything to the plot and all the sheep jokes were abit cringe but the real kids seemed taken with him so I won't knock it.
Other celebrities involved in the performance included Warwick Davis (if you don't know his name you will his face - I'm trusting you all can work the google), Andy May (CBeebies) and comedian, Andy Ford. Funnily enough we ended up eating in the same restaurant at the same time as some of the cast including Snow White and Mr Davis. Technically that means I can cross dining with a Harry Potter Star off my bucket list, right? Even if I did orginally have somebody else in mind...

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I'll stop my daydreaming and get back to the matter in hand, the show! It was interactive from the word go. As we handed over our tickets and climbed the stairs to the dress circle, sounds of laughter could already be heard coming from the theatre.'Had the show started early!?' We panicked and quickened our pace. However once inside and in our seats, which although very narrow and hard on my suffering back were comfortable enough to the average person I'm sure, we soon learned what the noise was about. A big screen hung on the stage showing us parts of the audience being picked out by a hidden camera, with the occasional cheeky comments added in speech or thought bubbles causing the whole place to chortle between series of Mexican waves. No awkward sitting around, waiting while twiddling thumbs for us!

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Upon entry we were entertained and the pace didn't let up for a moment. There were jaw dropping dance routines, goose-bump inducing vocals and laugh after laugh after laugh. I was a little disappointed in the lack of orgininal songs at first, but in the end being able to sing-a-long to songs we all knew did add something, from Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars to Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson to the Wurzels. Plenty enough variety! The special effects, costumes and stage sets were all on point, and the final scene was full of enough glitter to pass all expectations.
Basically you're never too old for pantomime, and a good show can be enjoyed by all ages. Although I'm aware that this post comes a little too late to book tickets (most shows end around January 3rd), it's something I'll definitely be recommending next year!

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Do you enjoy Pantomime? What are your favourite things about the festive season? Whether as a child or in present day let me know in the comments.

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