Boo the bad guys, cheer the good guys and coo at the young lovers. That’s the traditional British Pantomime style: no stiff upper lip, no hoity-toity “theatah, dahling,” just good Fun for the Folks in a form that dates back centuries. And no, it has nothing to do with the gentle “mime” of Marcel Marceau. Except that this year’s play takes place in Paris, where you might go to that windmill place to dine on a Folly Burger, and see a tower that’s quite an eye-full. (Get it?)
South Shore Players‘ all-new, original, “The Three Musketeers” has finished its two-weekend run to full houses in the Pearl Theatre in Lunenburg, amazing us again at the wealth of talent around here. The sheer volume of effort that goes into such a community production contributes hugely to local spirit and culture, and the quality of the result instills pride and loyalty to the place.
Written by Jon Allen and Dave Brumwell, two transplanted Brits with fine comedic skills and a love of playing to a crowd in outrageous costumes, “The Three Musketeers” was full of cleverness and punnyness. Cross-dressing was so prominent that it seemed not to matter whether a part was being played by a man or a woman. Never mind that there are always more women trying out for parts than men, this is a traditional feature of “panto” that gives a delicious freedom to the imagination of both actors and audience, and makes for a lot of laughs.
Half a dozen musicians formed a very fine orchestra which endured numerous disparaging jokes from the actors, all in good fun.
Students from local schools were encouraged to contribute jokes and the winners each had a night to participate in the play, in costume and makeup, thus gaining a first experience on stage.
The Christmas Pantomime has become a multi-generational family tradition for us. Maybe one of us will someday take part….