Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Fictional Characters in Panto: The Not Quite Perfect Christmas Pantomime

I was festively delighted when Sharon asked me to write something for her Christmas feature, firstly because she is a brilliant blogger, tireless supporter of our books and all-round lovely person, secondly because I love Christmas almost as much as my children do and thirdly because pantomimes are my guilty festive pleasure (along with M&S Snowy balls and the Christmas24 movie channel).

Over the past three years I have accompanied my son’s class on their annual trip to see a pantomime. Two years ago, one of the other mums and I came over a little peculiar at the sight of Sid from Cbeebies playing Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk (I know, I should be ashamed). Last year I hugged myself with delight watching Phil ‘Get art ma pub’ Mitchell as Captain Hook. I love the cheery sing-alongs, the rubbish jokes, the laugh-out-loud slapstick and most of all, watching the children’s faces as they drink it all in.

So I thought I would try to re-imagine the cast of Not Quite Perfect in a medley of my very favourite pantomimes.

The Characters

Emma Darcy as Cinderella
I always secretly wanted Cinderella to marry Buttons and had a nagging feeling that the handsome prince was too good to be true. Emma may not have an evil stepmother or ugly sisters but she certainly needs a Fairy Godmother to help turn her life around.

Emma’s fiancĂ© Martin as Buttons
He’s reliable, dependable and always there for Cinders, just like Martin is for Emma. Okay so reliable isn’t always the most exciting but surely it’s enough? Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is! (Sorry)

Richard Bennett as Prince Charming
Yes he’s handsome and yes he’s got all the lines and the moves but will he make Emma happy and can he be trusted? Watch out Emma, he’s behind you! (Sorry, I’ll stop now)

Emma’s sister Rachel as the (straight-talking) Fairy Godmother
Every girl needs a fairy godmother and who better for Emma than her teasing older sister, who knows her better than anyone? She’s got problems of her own but she’s always there to help Emma when she needs her.

Christa as the Good Fairy
Rachel could do with a little magic of her own and no-one fizzes and sparkles more in her life than her wincingly direct Swiss friend, Christa. She tells it like it is whilst topping up your glass of Moet – cheers!

Lily Summers as Tinkerbell
Lily would definitely cast herself in this role and I’m not one to disagree with this feisty four year old. She has ideas and opinions beyond her years and is not afraid to express them. Plus she’s quite bossy and naughty like Tinkerbell. You wouldn’t dare to tell her that you didn’t believe in fairies.
Diana Darcy as the slightly stern but not terribly evil matriarch
Emma and Rachel’s mother carries an air of constant disapproval, particularly when it comes to her daughters but she dotes on her grandchildren and has a kind heart. She would keep all the characters (apart from Lily) in order and probably insist on wearing a dramatic outfit in the style of the queen from Snow White.

The Story
It has to be based on Mother Goose. The story of a character who doesn’t realise how good their life is until it’s nearly too late sums up Emma and Rachel’s predicaments perfectly. But can they make amends and accept that life is not quite perfect before it’s too late? Or will their goose be cooked? (Okay I’m getting carried away again – I can only apologise).

It only leaves for me to wish you a very Happy Christmas – I hope you get lots of fabulous new books to enjoy and that it’s as perfect as it can possibly be.

Not Quite Perfect is available as an eBook and a paperback. Not Quite Perfect Christmas (A Short Story) is available to download. Both are published by Carina.

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