It’s behind you! The Muddy Herts Panto Guide 2016
It’s that time of year again! Forget tinsel and mince pies, forget fake snow and wrapping paper. Nothing says Christmas like a girlie slapping her thighs and pretending to be a chap — and a middle-aged bloke with a beard in a dress.
Yes, it’s the Muddy Herts Panto Guide 2016. Whether you’re after a traditional warts-and-all slapstick pie in the face, a magical and sparkly delight, or something a little bit different — we’ve got it all. Oh yes we have…
Little Red Riding Hood
Hertford Theatre always produces the most magical Christmas shows — more fairytale than pantomime and lashings of sparkle. There’s lots to laugh at, lots to ooo and aaah at, and lots to sing along to. This year, pack your basket and take a walk in the forest with Little Red Riding Hood — but watch out for wolves! Granny…? Is that you…?
Fancy a bit of magic? The classic rags-to-riches tale of Cinders and her oh-so-ugly sisters — as well as the Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming, and poor old Buttons — is coming to the Rhodes Theatre in Bishop’s Stortford this year. The panto there is always a right romp — bit cheeky, bit lively, and loads of fun.
Fancy getting some boots on your cat? (Not a euphemism….) Dick Whittington is on the road this year at the Court Theatre in Tring — lots of jolly locally-based amateur fun with more laughs than you can shake a stick at — as well as at the Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden City, which looks like another traditional choice.
Jack and the Beanstalk
If you’ve got your eye on that golden goose, how about Jack and the Beanstalk? You can catch Jack, his long-suffering mother, and that fearsome giant at the Radlett Centre in Radlett (obvs) with the promise of loads of audience participation, or at Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth where you’ll find Darren Altman, the chap who did all those voices on Britain’s Got Talent this year.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
You can catch Eastenders’ Rita Simons at the Alban Arena in St Albans this year — as Snow White, I’m guessing, rather than one of the dwarfs…. Or head to the Bull Theatre in Barnet for a rip-roaring evening of whirlwind romance and high-energy song and dance. All you have to do is clap — and boo!
Bit of a child at heart? Do you still believe in fairies? Head over to the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage to catch Britain’s Got Talent’s ‘Twist and Pulse’ as the pirates Swash and Buckle.
Beauty and the Beast
There’s been a panto at the Palace Theatre in Watford since 1908 so they’re quite good at it now — and this year, it’s all about Beauty and the Beast, with a super-talented cast in a very lovely old theatre.
Watch out for enchanted spinning wheels, won’t you? Poor old Sleeping Beauty — she’ll be pricking her finger and taking a snooze at the Market Theatre in Hitchin. Less panto and more Christmas play, there are still lots of chances to join in.
Almost panto but not quite…
If you’re after something a little bit different this year — and why not? — then there are all sorts of Christmas shows to tempt you round the county.
Step into Narnia with The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin, or wander along the riverbank with Mole and Ratty at The Wind in the Willows at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. You could always sing along with Annie and her chums at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City, too.
Fancy A Blast from Christmas Past? There’s songs, sketches and spoofs galore at the Pumphouse Theatre in Watford. Or pull yourself a Christmas Cracker (steady on!) at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans — an evening of seasonal jazz classics to soothe you into the festive season.