Lots of different types of pantomimes take place up and down the country every year from the London Palladium to the smallest of village halls. Here’s a round up of the types of pantomime that take place.
Large Scale Commercial
These pantos are big budget with star casting, big special effects, and they play to big audiences. Generally these productions take place in large regional houses like Newcastle Theatre Royal, Birmingham Hippodrome, Bristol Hippodrome, and Southampton Mayflower. Qdos – the biggest pantomime producer in the world produces most of these larger productions each year since their merger with First Family Entertainment in 2017 including bringing Pantomime back to the London Palladium in 2016. Producers have previously built productions in large-scale arenas but this hasn’t caught on long-term.
There are a lot of producers operating in the smaller scale venues on the touring network. Producers like Evolution, Paul Holman Associates, UK Productions and Imagine Theatre or bring star names on smaller batches to these audiences.
Regional In-House Productions
In house productions 10 not to include star costings, but instead build a loyal loyal local following with returning customers. Greenwich is Andrew Pollard-long retaining down, writer and director is a great example of this at Greenwich Theatre. Other notable cost include Berwick Kaler at York Theatre Royal, Anthony Stuart-Hicks at Colchester’s Mercury Theatre, and Steve Bennett at the Exeter Northcott Theatre.
More common in London, Fringe theatres often produce their own pantomimes. Charles Court Opera are known for their boutique Pantomimes at the Kings Head Theatre featuring a mash up of pop, musical theatre, opera, popular references, and quirky takes on classic fairytale titles. Other offbeat fringe pantomimes include the annual Above the Stag offering which tends to be more adult orientated.
Ranging from tours to one night editions of a family Panto, adult pantomimes can be sure to include a share of smut, blue humour, and swearing. Punny adult titles include Sinderella and Jack off the Beanstalk others to foulmouthed to mention here!
Easter and Summer Pantomime
Over 75 of these took place last year and they are gaining popularity. They tend to be less festive titles like Beauty and the Beast or Goldilocks and Three Bears. They tend to be produced by smaller producers and toured around several venues.
Hundreds of amateur theatre groups produce pantomimes every year after making their own sets, costumes, and sometimes even writing their own scripts. They’ll sometimes hire a professional director and musical director to help produce the show to a higher standard. To view my full range of Panto Scripts available for license for amateur theatre, click here.
As one of the most festive entertainments in the land, pantomimes are sometimes produced with profits from the performance going to a charity. One of the biggest examples of this is the Designers Panto produced annually at West End venues. The Set and costumes are designed by celebrity designers and profits are donated to nominated charities. I produced a charity pantomime version of Jack and the Beanstalk in 2018 for local charity Devon Freewheelers and was able to donate nearly £1000 to the charity at the end of the production.