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So you’ve had another successful show and the cast and production team are all asking the same question - what’ll we do next year? As Chair/secy of the Reading Sub-Committee you’ve been tasked with providing a script or, at least a short leet, for the Director. Your brow furrows.
You have an idea, and cunningly look at your Past Productions list. Okay, it’s mainly traditional and you’ve done the Holy Trinity, Aladdin, Cinderella and Snow White, a total of twelve times in the last twenty five years. Almost half. The Inner Ring, Ali Baba, Dick Whittington, Jack & the Beanstalk, Robin Hood and Sleeping Beauty, another eight times. All without exception have been box office hits. The others, you recall, were not. The least successful was penned by the club’s resident scriptwriter, and even now he has submitted another original script, Hereward the Wake the Panto. Your brow furrows further. It’s Decision Time.
May we suggest a forgotten favourite, Sinbad the Sailor? The tale appeared first in the U.K. in Sir Richard Burton’s 1885 The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, and is now known under the title Arabian Nights. It’s a classic adventure story in which the hero Sinbad voyages to fabulous lands in search of treasure; invariably he defeats a villain and rescues a princess. As pantomime, it’s got all the ingredients: exciting storyline, exotic setting and with opportunities for song, costumes and scenery.
Spotlight has three versions of Sinbad. Sinbad & the Jewel of Miracles has our hero voyaging to Cyprus in search of the said jewel which was stolen by the evil sorcerer Nastase. Fun and thrills come thick and fast as Sinbad tracks Nasty down to the Cave of Skulls and Temple of Oblivion.
Royal Free Hospital Panto
Sinbad & The Magical Mystery has Sinbad on an impossible quest for the feathers of three birds to the Isle of Juven, No-Man’s Land and Oomagoolee Island. Nasty magician Dragunda meanwhile has kidnapped Princess Yasmin, and Sinbad must overcome all sorts of difficulties, defeat Dragunda and rescue the princess.
In Sinbad & The Golden Chalice our hero sails up the River Nile in search of the fabulous golden chalice of Al-Aqba. This time he is pursued by two baddies, the villainous Al Chimera and Zafira, the evil queen of Zamora and her fanatical (female) warriors. With the assistance of Dame Bettina (his Aunty Betty!) and her fancy man Abdul Abulbul, plus Princess Shazir, he just can’t fail.
All three scripts have lively characters and loads of humour, and have songs with specially written lyrics. They all have dames and comedy duos. For sample scripts click the title name.
Two of Dave Buchanan’s classic pantomimes, Snow White and Cinderella, are now available in abridged form.
Both can be performed in about forty five minutes, and are suitable for one-act play festivals. They come complete with songs and production notes, and can be done simply or more elaborately as required. For details click Snow White (abridged) or Cinderella (abridged).