Reimaging Cinderella, part 1
By Lea Umberger
This week in Lea Umberger Designs Studio, I have been working through how to reimagine the age old tale of Cinderella, based off a new, more modern children’s script in the style of a British Panto. The first question I had to ask was- what is British Panto, given I have never seen one and did not recall covering it in detail in any of my theater history classes.
British Panto is :
“Pantomime is a marvellous and wonderful (if a little eccentric!) British institution.
Pantomimes take place around the Christmas period and are nearly always based on well known children’s stories such as Peter Pan, Aladdin, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty etc. Pantomimes are performed not only in the best theatres in the land but also in village halls throughout Britain. Whether a lavish professional performance or a hammy local amateur dramatic production, all pantomimes are well attended.
Slapstick is another important part of a British pantomime – the throwing of custard pies, the ugly sisters (who are always played by men) falling over, lots of silly costumes including of course and more hilarity that I will save to avoid any spoiler alerts!
Pantomime literally means “all kinds” of “mime” (panto-mime) . It is generally acknowledged that British pantomime is modelled on the early masques of the Elizabethan and Stuart days. In the 14th century the early masques were musical, mime or spoken dramas, usually performed in grand houses although by the 17th century they were really no more than an excuse for a theme party.”
For an even more in depth history, visit tor learn the full history as presented by the Victorian and Albert Museum
Produced as part of Christmas at the V&A
Ran from 3 December 2016 to 6 January 2017
Needless to say, the version I am working on is for kids, so there won’t be much drinking involved, but we will be using the British Panto traditional of some of the female roles being played by males and I am sure there will bne