Saturday, 13 December 2014

Fictional Characters in Panto: A.L. Michael casts Driving Home for Christmas

Well, no doubt, when considering the characters from my new Christmas book, Driving Home for Christmas, and how they could fit into Panto, I had some doubts. Firstly, I don’t know panto that well, beyond each year taking a bunch of less than enthused brownies and girl guides to watch something in the church hall. But there seem to be some themes, and some of the characters I knew instantly would fit.

Presenting Auntie Anna as the Fairy Godmother

Anna is exactly what you’d want in a fairy godmother; she’s wise, loving, never sees a problem she can’t fix and tends to meddle in your life in order to make it better. She’s the reason my main characters Megan and Skye decide to go home for Christmas to see their estranged family. Anna is fun and fabulous, and more than a little sneaky. She took Megan and Skye in when Megan was disowned by her parents as a pregnant teenager, and is now giving her back her family for Christmas. Who needs a magic wand?

Jeremy as The Dame

Jeremy isn’t a main character, but I love him, and he fits the role of Dame so well. Living with Anna and Megan and Skye as a lodger, he’s a playwright by day and a drag queen by night. He’s thoughtful, a constant presence in the women’s lives, supporting Anna and her old actress friends in creating a Gatsby Christmas for them, as well as being there as a shoulder to cry on for Megan, and recommending great books to Skye to make sure she has a well rounded education. He’s fabulous, fun and talented, and he’ll tell you the truth, no matter what, usually in a sassy and to-the-point kind of way. Just what you need in a dame. Plus, his makeup skills are fantastic and he’s excellent with the glitter.

Megan as Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack gets a bad rap, for being naive, and getting those beans instead of a good trade for old bessie. But Jack took some ingenuity and vision, and made something out of nothing. He also trusted the person who gave him the magic beans, and they were, in fact, magic. Megan’s life had been planned out for her. She was meant to work hard, go off to Cambridge university, and be the best. Instead, she got pregnant at eighteen and started a life on her own. Leaving home and learning how to be a mother at such a young age, I’m sure she wished someone had offered her some magic beans. Or just a helping hand.

Lucas as The Handsome Prince

Bad boys can still be princes. Especially when they’re really bad at being bad! Lucas has done nothing but try to support Megan and make her life easier. He’s a little too perfect in fact, and the only thing stopping him from being the prince is the fact that he comes from a poor family, with very few aspirations beyond rock n roll and being happy. But I’d take supportive and funny over crown jewels anyday! 

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