OPINION

Bringing the magic of British pantomime to Aussie audiences in lockdown

Pantomime is one of the most wonderful ways to introduce children to the exciting world of theatre.

With panto being a long-standing British Christmas tradition, I was lucky enough to grow up seeing panto with my family every year.

My love of performing and theatre stems from when I watched panto as a child, as they had such a profound and long-lasting effect on me. So much so, that it made me realise that theatre was somewhere I wanted to spend a lot of my time.

Panto was my first professional stage job, the year after I was cast in the Harry Potter franchise. It has remained a favourite feature of my schedule every year since.

Traditional theatre usually requires the audience to sit still and be quiet, which really goes against the nature of being a young child.

What I love most about panto is that it completely flips this on its head and encourages kids to relax, be themselves, and join in with the live action on stage.

Panto works so well because it blends the familiar fairy tales we've all grown up with, with popular songs, comedy sketches and jokes that work at different levels for different ages of audience.

I am so delighted to be involved in bringing this universally accessible show to Australia.

Even at the best of times, it can be difficult to think outside of the box and come up with new ways to excite children while broadening their horizons.

With COVID-19 lockdowns being a continuous reality and half of Australia being in lockdown at the time of writing, millions of families are stuck at home and are desperately looking for new ways to entertain their kids.

A virtual, interactive pantomime is the perfect solution and an exciting way to bring magic into your home.

Cinderella Live has never been done before and we've worked hard to make it a fun and engaging show for children.

There are interactive buttons, and children can react to the show in real time. We're launching this during Australia's winter and Christmas in July, so that children can enjoy the cozy, warm and fuzzy feeling of the festive season while watching and taking part.

Pantomime has such a soft spot in my heart, and I am overjoyed to be part of bringing this special project to Australia.

I like to think that maybe the children watching the show will be inspired to create stories of their own and embrace the magic of live performance the same way panto gave me the creative bug many years ago.

  • Cinderella Live is showing this Saturday, July 24 and Sunday, July 25 at 2pm and 6pm AEST. Tickets: https://au.pantolive.com/
This story Bringing the magic of British pantomime to Aussie audiences in lockdown first appeared on The Canberra Times.