Pantomime’s shocking secrets to be exposed online – maybe

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Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a panto? No? Well, start wondering, dear readers, as there’s only a few weeks to go until Panto Day, on December 5, when theatre companies, individuals and venues will be uploading behind the scenes footage of what goes on during an average day working on a pantomime to a special Facebook page.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? You know it does. Just how you want to whittle away a few hours, Tabard’s sure. The page will feature videos, photos and stories, providing what its organisers claim will be a “special glimpse inside the industry”.

And it gets even better, because on Panto Day – the more you say it, the more credible it sounds – CBeebies’ star Jane Deane will be live tweeting as she rehearses for her role as Jenny the Jester in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

She said: “Panto Day lifts the lid, just a little, on how the magic is created – the rehearsal period, the backstage dramas and some of the tricks of the trade. Was that ad-lib? Or do they do that every night? How much is actually in the script and how much is made up as they go along? Is there even a script? How does the beanstalk grow?”

Stop it Jane, you tease. So many questions. But Tabard’s favourite has to be, “Has a pyro ever set fire to a fairy?”. Well, Tabard’s sure that in the theatre world such a mishap is not confined to panto.