The future of kids in panto

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paulears
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The future of kids in panto

Postby paulears » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:12 pm

Although my panto still has the kids in it, I quick tote up of the pro pantos reveals that some are doing without kids this year, and I fear it may spread next year. The benefit to the productions is of course extra seats sold, but I fear over the next few years the number of opportunities for the children will steadily reduce - which is very sad. With recent events in mind, the concerns are beginning to be worrying. I personally have never worried too much about the absolute rules because as a dad, I guess I just didn't really notice things, but this year, I'm so conscious of being around them in difficult circumstances. I went into the room they were in today in rehearsals, and while talking to the chaperones about what was happening tomorrow - two girls out of the corner of my eye suddenly took their tops off to change - me catching it out of the corner of my eye. I turned it into a joke, by staring hard at the chaperones and telling the girls they mustn't do that - I'm a man! So when they see me they need to make sure they are decent, because ladies don't do that. Some of the cast are feeling quite reluctant to even be friends with the kids like we always used to - wanting real distance between them, and I've even seen people go the other way to avoid the group of kids altogether. I hope this quietens down because it isn't good. Everyone is feeling eyes on them when they're not - so this too will add to the problem, and at some stage, I do think many shows in the future will simply not use under 16s/18s.

Gatesheadangel
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Re: The future of kids in panto

Postby Gatesheadangel » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:17 pm

As a parent I'd be relying on the chaperone picking up how adults react when unexpected things like this happen, and then reminding the children what must/ must not happen in future.

I'm surprised to hear some pantos are dropping the children. My understanding was the babes are much younger and, shorter than they were 20 years ago. Given the boom in drama groups & classes I would have thought they were easier to source too, with a lot of extra seats sold as you rightly said.

paulears
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Re: The future of kids in panto

Postby paulears » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:47 pm

Forgot about this post. The snag for many is simply the availability of a decent dance school who can organise and manage the kids. The company I work for have somebody in an office with the rotten job of co-ordinating the kids licenses and chaperones for twenty odd pantomimes across England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland, and all the local councils have small differences. I heard somebody, when told they were doing Peter Pan, sigh, put their head in there hands and almost sob with the prospect of all the hassle.

The balance is that the kids love doing it, and with a decent team the results are good. One problem is that Directors usually like the little ones, but the choreographers can do little with them except synchronised swaying and skipping. The older kids are great, but they're not babes!

The new Disclosure and Barring Service is appearing to be very long-winded. I'm in the middle of a new application, as my last one expired a long while ago. I paid the money (first lot) on the 17th last month, and some more for the on-line registration last week, and it's still on stage one of five!


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