It's in front of you...
SLT's Theatre Committee has announced that following the success of last year's pantomime, Dick Whittington, this year's pantomime will be The Sleeping Beauty, by Norman Robbins. Stuey Draper has been appointed as director and the show will run from 5 to 14th January, including two matinees.
Although still some months away, this year's show will be unlike anything we have ever seen at SLT before - and a huge number of volunteers are going to be needed to get it off the ground. Performing in his first pantomime at the age of nine, and having appeared in or directed over 20 pantomimes, Draper believes he can deliver something spectacular in 2006.
'My first panto was Sing-a-Song-of-Sixpence with my parents' local amdram group, The Vesey Players. Mum was the principal boy, Prince Valentine, and my dad was musical director. My sister and brother were also in the show. Following that, it's hardly surprising that I grew up with a great love of the medium. I've been looking to do a panto at SLT for several years - but every time my ambition has been thwarted.'
Draper is keen to stress that, unlike the last two SLT offerings, this will be a traditional pantomime. 'I'm not a big fan of modernising pantomimes. I'm aiming for a show that has all the proven elements, and although you can play it tongue in cheek, ours will not be a pastiche. I don't think that works. Panto should have something for the kids, and something for the adults. Anything too cerebral is going to bore the audience eventually.' According to Draper, next year's offering will be more magical and fantastical than anything previously seen at SLT. 'I have designed several pantomimes and have drawn up the initial sets already. What we're looking for is a fairy-tale 'pop-up book' look to the show - I want the audience to gasp every time the curtains open. Every set piece, every production number should have the audience bouncing. A panto is about fun, it's about extremes. It's high-octane, anarchic madness. Expect something fantastic - then we'll deliver something beyond your expectations.'
There are plenty of parts for everyone, and all the principal roles are good meaty comedy parts. If you're new to SLT, this could be a great way to cut your teeth. We're looking for a chorus of at least 15/20 adults - and ALL the chorus get plenty to do all the time. We're looking for 40 (yes 40!) kids (two casts of 20) to play fairies, villagers, sprites and the Wicked Fairy's minions. The first half is set in Mediaeval times - the second half in Victorian England. So expect lots of fabulous costume changes!
Azuriel, the Good
Everybody will need to be able to sing a little, although the Prince and Princess could do with reasonable voices. We're not really bothered about age. There are lots of smaller parts too, and we'll need villagers, fairies, scary cats and rats (!), domestic staff and ball guests.
Contact: Stuey Draper / 020 7639 5590