The panto’s rock and roll!


I don’t know who it was, but someone in the stalls started booing very loudly when the baddie appeared. I think it was the same person who laughed like a drain every time the dame farted and shouted the loudest ‘oh no it ISN’T!’  Noel said it was me, but I’m taking the Fifth.

There is no better place to see a pantomime than Leeds’ homely City Varieties. Our  unpretentious bijou theatre nestling in a city backstreet is an absolute gem, and the annual Rock and Roll pantomime the jewel in its crown. There’s no big names, though one of the stars this year can boast a lead role in a DFS sofa advert. Instead it’s good family fun (with frequent references to farting and poo) and lots of excellent singalong music.

City Varieties seats just over 460, which is positively intimate in theatrical terms. The cast vie for space on the tiny stage with the band and their collection of instruments, though that is an issue for none of them as they all seem capable of playing whatever they pick up as well as singing and acting, I tell you it’s pure joy!

Of course I am biased, I was in my 40s before I saw my first ever pantomime (oh yes I was) and I’ve been on catch-up ever since. There’s just something about the colour, the noise, the liveliness of the audience, the jokes about poo and the rockfight that makes them such fun and an antidote to winter blues.

Jack and the Beanstalk is the latest in the line of pantomimes we’ve seen there, each is as much fun as the last, though since the multi-million pound refurbishment at the theatre the wild and wacky rock fight with real foam rocks, has been replaced by Prisoner-style giant balls. Not quite as satisfying as wacking the guy in front of you with a foam rock,  but that’s health and safety regulations for you.

After my foray into theatre earlier this month, I’m wondering whether they’re looking for new talent for their next production. I could tell my favourite joke, which is, “How does Mr Whippy go to the toilet?” The answer is best seen rather than told….

Merry Christmas everyone.

4 thoughts on “The panto’s rock and roll!

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