Aside from a few vignettes, short stories, nonsense poems, ‘normal’ poems, an odd collection of haikus and a few more book and screenplay ideas, I’ve had the most fun dabbling in the world of panto as a Pantomime playwright.
Oh no you haven’t.
Oh yes I have.
In 2004 I met a lovely lady called Lizzie Flynn who ran a very amatuer theatre group (basically some friends she strongarmed onto the stage!) and was looking to put on a charity production.
Long story short, somehow I agreed to write an adults-only panto called “Dick” which sold out the village hall for a two night run, raised some cash and made a lot of people laugh. She even insisted I have a speaking part myself. I am no Ian McKellen.
A few years later we resurrected and rewrote the script for another smaller adult production, and the following year – after a MAJOR rewrite – we had fun with the young children in Lizzie’s school theatre group doing something that was a big step up for them.
The Big Time
In 2013 I was commissioned to write “Cinderella” for the kids and “Carry On Cinders” for the adults.
That was just the precursor to a major breakthrough – “Cinders” in full risque adult-only form premiered it’s 10-night professional run in Guildford on December 11th 2013.
In 2014 the Guildford Fringe Theatre Company performed another adult pantomime, a reboot of my original script of “D!CK” for a new audience. This sold out 16 performances.
The amateur group staged “Aladdin – Rub My Lamp” in February 2015 over two nights to happy audiences. The script was then rewritten for children and performed twice more that year.
Winter 2015 was bigger and better, with “D!CK” moving to the HG Wells Theatre in Woking.
“Aladdin – Rub My Lamp” became easily the longest run to date, playing in The Back Room from 1st-31st December 2015, and selling out all performances.
In 2016 the amateur group resurrected “Cinders”, and in early 2017 performed “Dick” again to a charity audience of 250.