“Where did that ruddy donkey come from?”
Being a children’s story & pantomime writer, I don’t usually swear, but this was too much! Having created a perfectly good script with more than enough characters, I had hoped Jule, Act One Productions' Artistic Director would be satisfied.
“It’s got puppets, minions, dragons, talking dandelions, elephants and even a flying Humpty Dumpty in it – not to mention all the usual people you’d find in Aladdin. So why, oh why did you have to stick a donkey in the opening scene!?”
“Well, I happen to LIKE donkeys,” said Jule, completely unmoved by my protests.
“I ‘happen’ to like Hippopotamuses but I don’t just stick ‘em in willy-nilly - not unless the script specifically calls for it…”
“HIppopotamuses? Ah, now you're talking…..”
“Don’t even think about it! Anyway, we had a donkey last year - in Robin Hood, remember? Are heehaws going to feature regularly from now on….hey? Hey?”
“Stop badgering me!” Jule was obviously getting rattled. “I’ve had enough today with the rest of the crew.” Jule stopped to take a deep breath and I knew I was in for some serious earache!
“First of all, Andrew’s moaning about building a rickshaw which, come to think of it, was YOUR idea! Then he kicks off over the puppet huts and when I casually mentioned the mechanical magic box, it was the last straw! ’You must be joking!’ he says and stomps off in a paddy. Now Malcolm’s moaning over all the costume changes and threatening to decamp to the Paris fashion shows where he reckons there’ll be less mither!
‘As for Nathan…..well, he’s really got his work cut out, what with all those sound effects and musical interludes and noises off…..”
“Yes well, all due respect, Jule, you have added not a few of those yourself….”
“Not to mention all the special lighting and smoke and explosions and stuff….any more effects and we’ll be getting invaded by the local territorials!”
“Calm down,” says I, “don’t get yourself in a stew about it all….that’s my job! Anyway, it’s not all bad….except for the donkey, that is!”
“Let’s put it this way, Jacy. This panto’s going to be the trickiest yet….but, know what? It’ll be terrific fun - which is, after all, what we want, isn’t it? Oh, by the way, here’s a present for you …..a small token of my esteem…….”
"Ha Ha , Jule! Very funny!"
Aladdin & the Meanie Genie, a full-length pantomime is due to go on tour during the 2014/15 winter season. Two versions of our short pantomimes – Alice in Summerland and Cinderella – will be touring from June/July 2014 and from November/December 2014/15 respectively.
For further information, contact Jule Watson at Act One Productions http://www.touringpantomimecompany.co.uk