Most of us are familiar with the sweet nursery rhymes by Mother Goose. Well, the latest panto from St. Luke’s Players will be nothing like that.
Pantos are plays that twist the dickens out of well-known fairytales in a delightfully slapstick, cross-dressing hilarious sort of way. The antics, both clever and absurdly silly, make pantos as entertaining for the actors as they are for the audience, who are often egged on to take part in the shenanigans on stage.
Mother Goose takes flight at St. Luke’s Hall in December, with shows running from Dec. 18 to Jan. 2. But the call for auditions arrives this month for the traditional Christmas panto.
Written by Shieila Coultish, Peggy Harris and Ian Matthews, it tells the story of a seemingly gender-confused Mother Goose, who lives in a boot with all her famous children: Jack and Jill, contrary Mary, Tommy Tucker and many more you’ve read about. Naturally, there’s a villain. The town Chancellor is an evil-minded extortionist who threatens to evict Mother Goose and her children if his demands are not met.
Mother Goose’s faithful goose Priscilla comes to the rescue. But the relief is short-lived as the Chancellor’s henchman kidnap the goose. Following a bit of trickery, skullduggery, sword fights and magic spells, Priscilla is rescued, the Princess falls madly for the hero Jack, and nearly everyone lives happily ever after.
To bring the story to life, St. Luke’s Players needs children, teenagers, young adults and old adults, in all shapes and sizes, those new to the stage or experienced thespians.
Robert Hallsor, 11, will be auditioning for his third pant. Hooked since being cast as a bunny in Alice in Wonderland at the age of nine.
“It’s a thrill to see the audience react with joy and laughter. Directors Dave and Helena (Hitchcock) and the experienced members were so helpful and reassuring that I got over my nerves quickly,” he said.
Auditions will take place at St. Luke’s Hall, 3821 Cedar Hill X Road, Sept. 13 at 2 p.m., Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. For more information, visit stlukesplayers.org. For scripts call 250-370-1291.