Fill in the missing word...that's right, it's PANTOMIME!
I auditioned for one today! In Queens New York. It was such a fun audition! Panto is like riding a bike, once learned never forgotten - and anyone who was in one as a kid knows exactly what is required. I read for Cinderella, Prince Charming and Buttons who is the chief proponent of audience interaction, fourth wall breaking, 'oh no they didn't' etc. And it's very specific, being the comedy sidekick element of a panto you talk to the audience in a certain way that of course I know very well having seen and experienced it plenty. I would have liked to see how any Americans auditioning had handled that, because it's just a completely alien form of theatre here. A girl asked the audition monitor 'so how is this production of Cinderella going to be different, given that it's on Broadway right now?' It's true, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella is currently playing. I never even knew that existed until I came to AMDA - I hear Cinderella, I think panto and then I think Disney. So it was interesting to hear the monitor explaining to the girl that it was a pantomime version, 'very British, commedia del arte' - also true. And how does one explain it, truly, the essence of the pantomime? Answers on a postcard.
I read for Buttons and had lots of fun, 'hi, I'm Buttons! If you see those Ugly Sisters around, make sure you tell me - what? What did you say? Behind me? Nooo, you're having me on you didn't see them. Oh no you didn't!'
Fingers crossed. Since I could definitely say that panto is what set me on the path that landed me here, be nice to be able to do one!
On it goes, so sublime, it's entertainments greatest show soooo long live pantomiiiiiiiiiiiime!
(I will never forget the words to that song)