Behind the Scenes
of a Pantomime
Front of House
Like to meet new people?
Want to do something different?
Then why not help us Front
of House? This means showing people to
their seats and selling programmes at the
beginning of the Panto and selling ice
creams and drinks during the interval.
Just helping two or three times during
the run would help us enormously. If you
dont like going out at night then
you could help during the Saturday
Lighting and Sound
The society is fortunate
in having very up-to-date computerised
lighting and sound systems. The members
already working in these areas will be
only too happy to pass on their skills to
you, or indeed to accept any knowledge
and help you can offer.
Collecting together props
for a production involves providing all
the things (from a glass slipper to a
magic bean) that are needed for that
particular panto be performed. For some
productions, props people will help the
set designer dress the set.
Set dressing is anything that
is not used during a performance but
improves the appearance of the setting
(ornaments, photographs, vases of flowers
Seeking out, borrowing, or
making props can be a challenging and
fascinating task. The props team must
also ensure that everything is either set
in place on the stage, or available in
the wings, at the appropriate time and
place, to be brought on by the actor.
After the production the props team
returns everything to its owner or to the
props cupboards. One or two people
normally form the props team for a
production and between them attend all
rehearsals and performances.
The backstage crew is
vital to the success of all our shows.
Each production needs a team of people to
assist in rehearsals, assist with
providing or making properties, and
construct and dismantle the set. New
members often find this an excellent way
to integrate themselves into the society.
The Stage Manager is
responsible for overseeing all practical
aspects of the production and for
managing the show on stage during the
technical rehearsals and the performance
Crewing is an essential
part of every theatre and everyone is
welcome to take part in
build-ups (set construction)
and strikes (set
dismantling), whatever their practical
rehearsals and, following the script
closely, will feed lines to an actor
whenever he/she has a lapse of memory.
During a performance, the prompter will
give a word or line if (a very rare
occurrence!) the actor forgets. Its
a very important role, needing patience
and concentration but can be and often is
The department has a small
store of stylized costumes and
accessories used for Pantomime. Each production is dressed
in part from stock or hired. We also make
individual costumes, alter and re-trim
In recent years the
Pantomime Finale has been dressed in gold
plus one colour i.e. green/red/blue,
replicating the major costumes, demanding
many hours of sewing.
Although known for
Pantomime the company also perform
musicals and short variety shows covering
a spectrum of entertainment which we also
Wigs play a large
part in dressing the pantomime
characters. The Dame usually has three or
four. A small stock of wigs and hair
pieces are held plus many are hired, and
we are fortunate to have 2 wig dressers
among our members.
A team of
experienced makeup ladies have made up
our shows since the 1970s, putting
the final touch to our way-out, make
believe productions. They hold monthly
classes and welcome anyone who is
interested to learn even the elementary
art of stage makeup.
always welcome enthusiastic help
particularly with the wardrobe so, if
anyone loves needlework and would like to
join us, bring your measuring tape as
theres plenty of warmth, laughter
and tea available.