The pantomime baddie often gets some of the best lines in the show, a favourite of mine is for the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk to say “Now for one of those meals on a stick” and for Fleshcreep to reply “a kebab?” to which the giant replies “no, a pensioner!”. 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.
- Black Magic by Little Mix – Ripe for a re-wording, this anthem from Little Mix is great for a female baddie, perhaps the Wicked Queen in Snow White who is trying to seduce the prince behind Snow White’s innocent back.
- A Kind Of Magic by Queen – This track is instantly recognisable as a Queen classic but it can be repurposed easily for baddies from Abanaza in Aladdin to Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty. I love the version from the We Will Rock You Original West End Cast Recording featuring the brilliant Sharon D Clarke (panto regular at the Hackney Empire).
- Hot N Cold by Katy Perry – This fun noughties number is great for a disgruntled baddie who is prone to the odd note of sarcasm towards the principal boy or girl.
- Should I Stay or Should I Go? by The Clash – As a child I saw this used as a song for Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty by Ben Crocker at the Exeter Northcott Theatre and it brought the house down. The idea was that Carabosse was messing around with the audience asking whether they’d prefer her to stay around and kill Sleeping Beauty, or if they would prefer her to go, and leave the royal family alone.
- Bad Romance by Lady Gaga – This is a favourite of mine for the Ugly Sisters to sing in Cinderella but works just as well for the Wicked Queen in Snow White too. Any baddie who is trying to seduce one of the other principal characters can sing this number.
- Toxic by Britney Spears – If you like a fun throwback number, Toxic is great. You can re-word it to fit plenty of settings, the poison apple, the finger prick, the list goes on.
- The Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga – The second Gaga song to make my list, this one is great if you’ve got a slot for a baddie number near the end of a show just before they get their comeuppance.
- Sweet Dreams are Made of This by the Eurythmics – I used this one at the end of Act One in Sleeping Beauty where Carabosse was putting the entire royal family into a deep sleep ready for dreamland in Act Two. It’s got a gleefully evil feel to it.
- Another One Bites the Dust by Queen – Another track inspired by the West End show We Will Rock You, this is a wonderfully evil number for any baddie.
- Bad by Michael Jackson – Possibly the most universally recognised song on the list, it’s great for any baddie from a Queen Rat in Dick Whittington, to Furball in Puss in Boots.
- Thriller/Heads Will Roll by Glee – This fun mash up works really well for a range of forest-based pantomime titles like Rapunzel and pantos with far-off lands like Mother Goose.
- Hit Me With Your Best Shot/One Way or Another by Glee – Another brilliant Glee mash up, this song works really well if there’s a fight between two groups of people. A great example of this is the final show down between Peter and Captain Hook in Peter Pan aboard the Jolly Roger.
I hope this list has given you plenty of choices and inspires you to go away and plan your next baddie to be truly evil in song. If you have any of your own suggestions to add to the list, let me know.