Pantomime Help & Advice

Check out all our best top tips now to create a hit pantomime production!

  • Reaching for the Stars with a Bespoke Jack and the Beanstalk Pantomime Script

    In December 2022, Matt and Reece at Bowtie productions got in touch with me to ask me to write a bespoke pantomime script for their first pantomime at the Blakehay Theatre in Weston Super Mare. Weston Super Mare has a large commercial pantomime already, so they wanted to provide an affordable alternative for local families, and offer…

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  • Is bigger always better when it comes to pantomimes?

    I’m proud that my scripts get produced on all manner of scale and sizes every year. From village hall to the enormous SEC in Glasgow, audiences, cast and crew alike revel in panto hilarity. But is bigger better? (That’s enough you two at the back, this is a family show!) Well I think the answer…

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  • X Marks the Spot for my new Treasure Island Pantomime Script

    This week I've been working on ideas behind a brand new script: Treasure Island. Research and preparation So, how do I prepare when writing a new title? Well, in this case I fired up Disney+ and spent a cosy afternoon watching The Muppet's Treasure Island. I even watched the DVD of a production of Treasure Island that I…

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  • Rishi Sunak joins the cast of the London Palladium Pantomime

    The London Palladium has announced a new production of Mother Goose will be its Christmas 2024-5 pantomime. It's been leaked that, with the public likely to vote him out of Downing Street in the general election, Rishi Sunak is joining the cast. Palladium panto regular Julian Clary will co-star, with other returning regulars Paul Zerdin, Nigel…

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  • Writing a Genie-us Bespoke Aladdin Pantomime Script

    In Spring 2023, Keiron and Matt at Cheltenham Playhouse got in touch with me to explore having a bespoke pantomime script written for their first pantomime at the venue.

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  • List of Pantomimes

    Pantomime season is nearly at a close, and so you’re probably looking ahead to your next pantomime. Perhaps you’ve already chosen a title. Perhaps you’d like to browse the list of 15 pantomimes I have available for license. Perhaps you’d like to premiere my upcoming Goldilocks and the Three Bears, or Pinocchio. Or another bespoke title. Dozens of my…

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  • Writing bespoke pantomime script Robin Hood

    Robin Hood is the fourth pantomime I’ve written for Honiton Community Theatre Company, and it’s been great fun reimagining the medieval tale for Honiton audiences in 2024.

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  • 2024 (Re)introduction to Alex Jackson Pantomimes

    I’m fresh from directing Dick Whittington at Exeter Northcott Theatre, so I've written this to (re)introduce myself.

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  • How I write bespoke pantomime scripts

    Writing bespoke pantomime scripts is one of my favourite things to do throughout the year. It means I can really tailor the script for your venue, cast, creative team and production values.

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  • How to create an effective production committee

    A committee is only as strong as its weakest member. For a successful group, you need lots of different skills to keep things going.

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  • How to save money on printing marketing materials

    As with all amateur theatre groups, survival is down to how well a production sells. Promotional materials are key to the success of pulling in an audience so I’m going to feature several different types of promotional materials, how you can save money on them, and the pros and cons of each. There are several…

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  • What are production meetings and why are they useful?

    In all productions big and small there’s a variety of aspects that need to be considered well in advance of the show. These are often integral to the performance but can easily get left out and forgotten about then rushed at the last minute. This blog is all about keeping on top of these things…

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  • How to get your show sponsorship

    Fundraising is becoming increasingly harder and ticket sales still more difficult to cover costs of a production let alone put some money away for a rainy day. This blog is designed to help you attract sponsorship effectively from local businesses and organisations to keep your organisation afloat. Advertise sponsorship opportunities Most groups welcome sponsorship in…

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  • Once Upon a Time in Pantoland Pantomime Script

    Writing Once Upon a Time in Pantoland

    In early Summer 2021, a good friend of mine asked if I’d be interested in writing a bespoke script for their pantomime return following the lifting of Covid 19 restrictions, of course I jumped at the chance.

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  • 3 Secrets to Amateur Theatre Success

    3 Secrets to Amateur Theatre Success

    You might say amateur theatre is just that - amateur. But just because you're doing amateur theatre, it doesn't mean the quality or impact is restricted. People don't just go to see local theatre to support their friends and family that are in it. They go to have a good evening with local people. Your…

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  • 5 Ways to Make Your Amateur Theatre Committee Successful

    5 Ways to Make Your Amateur Theatre Committee Successful

    I look at what makes a successful organising committee for amateur theatre and how you can maintain this as members come and go.

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  • 5 Things to Check When Choosing a Pantomime Script

    5 Things to Check When Choosing a Pantomime Script

    It’s very easy to spend hours and hours pouring over stories, scripts, summaries and scene lists when looking for your next pantomime. I wanted to compile a list of 5 easy things that you can check to see if you have a decent pantomime script. Writers, directors and actors will all have different ideas of…

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  • How To Write a Pantomime Adaptation

    How To Write a Pantomime Adaptation

    Inspired by adapting unusual titles, here's everything I've learned from writing fairytales and novels as a pantomime adaptation.

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  • What are all the Different Pantomime Characters?

    Explaining a pantomime to anyone who hasn't experienced one is always entertaining. Where do you start? With the crazy characters, of course!

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  • Cinderella Pantomime Song Suggestions

    Cinderella Pantomime Song Suggestions

    This week I've been doing some more work on my Cinderella script, and I often use playlists of music to help with my writing process. Then I thought it might be useful to share this playlist with you.

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  • 5 Things Your Pantomime Audience Will Love

    5 Things Your Pantomime Audience Will Love

    So what does your pantomime audience love? I give you essential advice for writing or creating your next pantomime.

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  • What are the Different Pantomime Titles?

    What are the Different Pantomime Titles

    I take you through the most popular and unusual pantomime titles and how you should choose your next panto to perform or write.

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  • How to Structure a Pantomime Script

    How to Structure a Pantomime Script

    My advice on what's important to bear in mind when thinking about how to structure a pantomime script. A perfect first-time guide.

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  • 5 Brilliant Pantomime Songs From the 2020_21 Season

    5 Brilliant Pantomime Songs From the 2020/21 Season

    There may not have been as many pantomimes as usual this season, but there were some cracking shows and brilliant innovation in the shows that made it to the stage. One of my favourite things about pantomime is seeing how different producers use songs in interesting ways. Here's my round up of the 5 best…

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  • Why Your Pantomime Group Should Be on Social Media

    Why Your Pantomime Group Should Be on Social Media

    Communicating with your membership is one of the hardest parts of running a cohesive amateur pantomime group. Communicating effectively with the general public is even harder! Having spent 10 years working on amateur theatre before moving to work professionally in the industry, I know how important these things are. In this blog, I'm going to…

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  • A Beginner's Guide to British Pantomime Traditions

    A Beginner’s Guide to British Pantomime Traditions

    To an outsider, pantomime may seem bizarre, even misjudged. However, to those who grew up with the tradition, there are many governing rules, fun quirks and bizarre twists that work together to make the panto magic we all know and love.

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  • What are the different stage management roles?

    What are the Different Stage Management Roles?

    Stage managers and the stage management team are a crucial part of the overall machine of making theatre. They cover a really wide field of skills and expertise that keep a production running both on and off stage.

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  • The Best Pantomime Dame Songs

    The Best Pantomime Dame Songs

    Ever find yourself looking for the perfect number for a dame who can really sing? Or maybe you're looking for that comic skit bound to make people laugh? Either way, you want the dame's song to make a real impact in your pantomime. Here's my list of songs which are always brilliant to achieve these…

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  • How to Direct_ He’s Behind You Scene

    How to Direct: He’s Behind You Scene

    ‘He’s Behind You’ or ‘Ghost Gag’ is one of the most well known pantomime traditions. In this blog, I set out some ideas on how to make your ‘He’s Behind You’ scene the best it can be.

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  • Why is Pantomime Important?

    Why is Pantomime Important?

    With a lot of this year’s pantomime season being cancelled , I’ve been thinking a lot about why we do pantomime, and what I’ll miss about seeing them this year.

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  • The Best Way to Write Your Next Press Release

    The Best Way to Write Your Next Press Release

    As an amateur theatre group, press releases are a great way to get word out about your next production. You can write them and send them to local newspapers, bloggers and social media influencers to let them know that your production is happening, and why they should share the news about it.

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  • 5 Common Errors You’re Making On Your Pantomime Poster

    5 Common Errors You’re Making On Your Pantomime Poster

    With technology becoming ever more advanced, and software more widely available, it’s never been easier to create eye catching poster artwork for your pantomime. Here’s my advise on how to make sure your poster is tip-top and does your show justice.

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  • How to Make Your Technical Rehearsals Brilliant

    How to Make Your Technical Rehearsals Brilliant

    Technical rehearsals are the part of the production where everything starts to come together. Costumes are on and under the lights, the set is up (hopefully) and the creative team are working harder than ever to finalise the production. But how can you plan for this time and ensure you're using the time as best…

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  • Amateur Theatre To Be Included in 'The Rule of Six'

    Amateur Theatre To Be Included in ‘The Rule of Six’

    More Covid restrictions were announced for the UK today as the infection rate rises across the country. The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has confirmed an update to the prior guidance for safely producing amateur theatre productions.

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  • The Best Pantomime Opening Numbers

    The Best Pantomime Opening Numbers

    The opening number sets the standard for the audience of the show they're about to enjoy. You want it to grab your attention, to 'wow' and to be high energy. It's often following some kind of prologue, so bringing the audience into the colourful world of the pantomime is essential. Here's my list of songs…

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  • How to make your rehearsal room positive and productive

    How to Make your Rehearsal Room Positive and Productive

    It’s always a juggling act to run rehearsals in a way which best serves all these groups of people and the production. However, here are some tips that can help you do just that.

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  • 5 Things That Will Make Your Auditions Better

    5 Things That Will Make Your Auditions Better

    Finding your cast members can feel very stressful. They are the foundations of the characters and if you get your casting wrong you can end up regretting it right up to the closing night of the production! So I've put together my tips to make casting your show as good as it can be.

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  • What are all the different roles in a creative team?

    What are all the different roles in a creative team?

    When you first decide you're going to direct or produce a show, and you've decided on the pantomime title, your next thought is probably going to be who else you want to work with. Here's my list of all the roles on a creative team and what their responsibilities are towards the production.

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  • 5 Things to Help You Choose Your Next Pantomime Script

    5 Things to Help You Choose Your Next Pantomime Script

    Finding your next script to perform can feel like an endless yearly task. You order lots of perusals, perhaps include writers whose scripts you have performed before. Or perhaps you're a first-time producer/director and you're looking for a fresh script to whisk you away on exciting adventures. Here's my list of key things to make…

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  • New Covid-Safe Indoor Performances Guidance Explained

    New Covid-Safe Indoor Performances Guidance Explained

    Last week the government announced that performances would be able to resume at indoor venues, with a lot of caveats and guidelines to follow. Here’s my outline guide to how the rules work.

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  • The Best Pantomime Baddie Songs

    The Best Pantomime Baddie Songs

    The pantomime baddie often gets some of the best lines in the show, but sometimes they can be left with rather dreary musical numbers. The baddie's song is an opportunity to let rip with so many great numbers. Here's my list of songs which are perfect for a whole range of nastiness to ensue.

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  • 3 Common Mistakes Directors Make And How to Avoid Them

    3 Common Mistakes Directors Make And How to Avoid Them

    Having worked with amateur group casts and professional pantomime actors, I've made a fair few mistakes in directing shows! Of course, that's how we learn. I decided to put this blog together to try and help you stop making the same mistakes I did, and I've seen other directors doing a fair few of them,…

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  • 5 Ways to Make Pantomimes Happen Post Covid

    5 Ways to Make Pantomimes Happen Post-Covid

    With professional theatres still unsure whether the Christmas season can go ahead or not, amateur pantomime producers are in a similar position. I've been thinking about some ways we can ensure the season goes ahead safely for audiences, cast and crew.

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  • The Best Pantomime Finale Songs

    The Best Pantomime Finale Songs

    The pantomime finale is the glittery ending to an epic adventure. Are you always looking for inspiration for songs to fill that coveted spot? Here's some of the numbers on my ever-growing list.

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  • 3 Reasons your School or Youth Group Should put on a Pantomime

    3 Reasons your School or Youth Group Should put on a Pantomime

    You find yourself once again looking for a new production that's perfect to be performed by children and young people. Whether you're a teacher, or youth group leader the problem is the same: 'Where will I find a script with plenty of scope for your young people to perform?' That's where I say: 'Pantomime is…

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  • 3-Things-to-Remember-as-a-First-Time-Director

    3 Things to Remember as a First-Time Director

    3 things to remember if you're setting out as director on your first show, here's some things that are useful to bear in mind.

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  • The-Secret-to-Writing-the-Perfect-Rehearsal-Schedule

    The Secret to Writing the Perfect Rehearsal Schedule

    Writing a rehearsal schedule can be a very daunting task at first. There's lots to consider and lots of people to please. Let alone, the amount of rehearsing to actually be done! Then of course you have to take into account the needs of the other members of the creative team, costume fittings, so on…

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  • 5-Easy-Ways-to-Advertise-Your-Pantomime-Online-For-Free

    5 Easy Ways to Advertise Your Pantomime Online For Free

    Digital marketing is a must-have feature of your next marketing campaign. There are lots of opportunities to do free marketing for your pantomime online, but some are more effective than others. Here's my low-down on the best places to advertise your pantomime online for free.

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  • How-should-my-village-pantomime-sell-tickets-online

    How should my village pantomime sell tickets online?

    With so much time to stop and think at the moment, you might be planning to have a look at how your amateur theatre group works. One thing that comes up time and time again is selling tickets online. Is this something you're already doing? Or is it something you're looking into? Either way, hopefully…

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  • 5-Types-of-Stage-Layout

    5 Types of Theatre Stage

    One of the most exciting parts of performing in flexible venues like town halls, village halls, community arts spaces (like a lot of amateur theatre groups) is that you can change the type of stage that you are performing on. In this blog, I'm exploring some of the possible stage shapes you could create.

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