It’s December: month of theatrical madness! It’s behind you, before you and all around you… Panto is often people’s first introduction to live theatre and it’s important that it does a good job and creates enough magic that they want a second visit to the theatre.
But it’s also important to stress that there is great children’s theatre around which is not panto.
Our company, Spotlites, specialises in children’s theatre all year round and we do not do panto. Ever!
Why? Because panto, although a valid genre in itself, isn’t children’s theatre- it’s often over long, over sentimental, risqué and out-dated. Which isn’t to say that the best panto isn’t wonderful. It can be and sometimes it is. But it is also often overly commercial, under rehearsed and shamelessly overpriced.
At Spotlites we believe children’s theatre should be just that: theatre for children and that it should be accessible to all children- we are very proud that our Family Ticket for 4 people costs the same as one ticket for the local pantos. We are also proud that children are on the edge of their seats all the way through our shows, literally too engaged to sit down sometimes and that they don’t get bored, need the loo constantly or want to go home.
So if panto sounds a bit like hard work, how about taking the children to see some original children’s theatre this Christmas? No it’s not for adults specifically, it’s for the children, but you know what – seeing adults relax, watch their children interact and become engrossed in a story which they’re living as it happens, reminds me that adults are only grown up kids and Spotlites is an amazing place to spend time with the children.
Is there such a thing as a grown up?