Our pick of the Pantos
I am sure all of you have been aching to fill the particular void that pantos have left in your life since last Christmas.
Worry not boys and girls, because this year Father Christmas is bringing us not one, but two major pantomime productions as well as the traditional Pant Soc performance. We must have been good this year.
The traditional tale of Prince meets girl is played out in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Royal Opera House this year, opening on 11 December and featuring cast members from Home and Away. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful but lacking in Z list celebrities, there is always the reliable entertainment of Pant Soc. It’s nice to have something you can count on, in these troubled times. While Nouse and the society have been at odds in the past, tis the season so lets go native and experience the wonders on offer at York. The hilarity kicks off early next term.
But our pick of the pantos has to be Humpty Dumpty at the York Theatre Royal, both written by and starring legendary actor-come-Panto Dame Berwick Kaler. In this bizarre twist on the classic nursery rhyme, an orphaned Humpty seeks to find his mother, whilst simultaneously trying to protect the tiny Kingdom of Pantoloon from the evil Eggula. It promises glitzy costumes and is well renowned for being the best in town. Also, how could you not find out what happens to poor Dumpty? Humpty Dumpty runs from December 10 to 30 January.
Christmas at Claridges
Claridge’s Christmas tree, was designed by Dior Creative Director John Galliano, and, although more Alice in Wonderland than Winter Wonderland is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.
The tree which can be found in the hotel’s foyer, is a true work of art. Hunched over, gnarly branches outstretched, the ethereal tree appears as if shipped in from the set of Sleepy Hollow. The installation is lit from below which creates a dramatic and magical effect. The shadows dance on the walls behind and you feel like you’re in another world entirely. Hotel Manager Phillipe Leboeuf decribes it as “another bold step in Claridge’s history to provoke, confound and delight our guests.” The piece fits perfectly into its glamorous Art Deco surroundings complete with kitsch models of sleeping leopards , blue parrots and a unicorn.
However, like any work of art, it is not without its controversy. Following the unveiling of the commission last week, Galliano has been charged with ‘the kidnap of Christmas’ by various members of the press. The question remains: is it really fair to paint Galliano as the Grinch who stole Christmas? Or should he be praised for his creative Christmas spirit?
Art is designed to provoke a reaction and the best thing about this piece is that it is certainly different; his collaboration with Claridge’s this year is well worth a look.