The great British Christmas panto tradition is not quite the same this year. What is normally seen as the jewel in the crown of theatre takings (performances usually sell enough tickets to support theatres’ productions throughout the rest of the year), the panto has been relegated to social distancing seating plans, shortened programs (or cancelled altogether) - or streamed online ...
For those who have not had the opportunity to experience the delights and sometimes downright weirdness of the British Panto, you can now view it for yourself (and enjoy it with your family) from the safety of your own couch - wherever you are in the world!
The National Theatre (who have sadly had to cancel performances due to Covid and UK government restrictions) will be streaming for free their version of Dick Whittington 'in honour of all the theatres that have been forced to cancel their Christmas pantos'.
When: 3pm (GMT) on 23 December until midnight on 27 December - FREE
Where: National Theatre YouTube Channel
Timings: The running time is 2hrs 5mins with a short interval.
Age: Recommended for ages 6+. You can get involved with the fun, with craft activities for the family by downloading the National Theatre's Panto Party Pack.
Dick Whittington was filmed live on stage on Tuesday 15 December 2020 at the National Theatre, London.
If you want to know a little bit more about the traditions behind the British panto, check out the following links:
How to be a Pantomime Dame! and The Origins of the British Pantomime.
And if you would like to support other theatres streaming pantos this season, check one of these out:
Mercury Theatre, Colchester, England - Tue 22 December 2020 to Fri 1 January 2021
Age: Recommended for adults and families with children aged 3+ yrs.
Oh yes we are! Live online broadcast
Perth Theatre, Scotland - until 24 December
Age: It is suitable for children (and slightly bigger children) of all ages.
Tickets: £16 per device
Experience the joy of panto with Perth Theatre’s unique LIVE interactive online broadcast via video platform Zoom.
Jack and the Beanstalk: The Grand Family Pantomime
Presented by Peter Ducan (a critically acclaimed Panto Dame, Writer and Director) - from 4 Dec 2020 until 10 Jan 2021
Tickets: from £25
Girlguiding UK's Virtual Pantomime: Sisterhood in the Wood
A fantastic online show brought to you by children’s theatre company, Join the Dots. A tale of excitement, fun and friendship.
Tickets: Free to watch online
Where: Girlguiding YouTube Channel
Jack and the Beanstalk Online
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, England - from 1–31 December
Cinderella On Demand
Nottingham Playhouse Theatre, England - available for rent until Sat 16 January
Finally, if you are in the UK you can also watch the star-studded Cinderella: A Comic Relief Pantomime For Christmas on BBC Two on Christmas Eve at 8:15pm (GMT). A special extended version will also be available on BBC iPlayer.
You shall go to the panto!