Adventure in Pantoland Pantomime Script by Alan P Frayn

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“I cannot remember using so many superlatives to describe one show” (The Stage)

“Exceptionally inventive – a panto that has everything!” (Amateur Stage Magazine)
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PANTOMIMES

Adventure in Pantoland

A magical journey through the world of pantomime, ideal for an anniversary production or simply for a refreshing change!


For an anniversary year, a gala production, or simply something out of the ordinary, this “celebration of pantomime” could be just what you're looking for!

Our story starts in the Land of Make Believe, the home of all panto folk, from where Poison Ivy, the Wicked Witch, banishes some of our friends.  Finding their memories have been wiped, and with the help of Fairy Honeysuckle, they “try out” the characters in 6 different pantomimes, one per scene, in their quest to find where they belong.

This innovative concept offers far more variety and interest value than any individual pantomime, for both audience and cast alike!  It can be staged very symbolically, but there are plentiful opportunities and suggestions in the script for the more ambitious.

Full cast and scenery requirements are listed below

Many productions of this script have won NODA and drama federation “Best Pantomime” awards, including Plumpton Pantomime Society (NODA Councillor’s Award for Pantomime)!

"...One of the best Christmas productions I have seen for many years, written and directed by Alan Frayn.  It features scenes from several well-loved pantomimes and children's stories.  Cinderella is the finale, in which the characters complete their quest for true happiness and fulfilment, despite the efforts of the Wicked Witch and her assistant, Wizbad.  In nearly 30 years of reviewing, I cannot remember using so many superlatives to describe one show."  (The Stage Magazine)
adventure in pantoland
Plumpton Pantomime Society
adventure in pantoland
Plumpton Pantomime Society
EXCERPT from Act I Scene 1: The Land of Make Believe © Alan P Frayn

WITCH:You fools!  Out here and all alone,
You’ve strayed beyond your comfort zone.
One step too far and … oops-a-daisy,
Everything is going hazy!
Memories now take their leave,
Forget that Land of Make Believe,
As from that cosy world you’re banished,
Happiness for you has vanished!
There, you see – it’s all gone wrong,
You’ll never find where you belong!  (She cackles and exits SL.)
FOOL:(Bewildered) What’s going on?  My mind’s gone blank.
DAME:Nothing new there, then!
GIRL:Wait – I seem to have lost my memory too!
BOY:And me! … I can’t even remember who we are!
FOOL:Hang on – I think we were in show biz.  (Ironically to audience:) Even though you lot may not think so! … Yes – I can recall the glare of the footlights.
DAME:The feel of the costumes …
GIRL:The roar of the crowd …
BOY:The taste of success …
FOOL:The smell of the tights!  (He wafts his hand under his nose.)
DAME:Stop it, you numpty! … But yes, I think we were something to do with the theatre.
GIRL:Perhaps we were with the Opera?
FOOL:Oh, I love opera.
BOY:Really?
FOOL:Yes, I never miss it – the Opera Winfrey Show!  [Oprah Winfrey]
DAME:Don’t be such a dipstick! … Now, let me think …
FOOL:I tried that once, but it made my brain hurt!
DAME:Wait! … It was pantomime!
GIRL:Yes, maybe … but which one?
BOY:Search me! … Oh, somebody help!
 (Pyroflash SR and/or magical SFX as the FAIRY enters DSR in spot.)
FAIRY:An evil spell the Witch has cast,
To make you all forget your past.
But I can help you travel far,
In search of who you really are.
From Mother Goose to Puss in Boots,
I’ll take you there to find your roots,
Through pantomime with dance and song,
We’re sure to find where you belong!
DAME:You mean you can take us to different pantomimes?
GIRL:So we can try our hand in each story?
FOOL:Hey, it’ll be like the X-Factor auditions!  [Or any recent TV talent show]
FAIRY:So don’t delay, we must begin,
With all our friends, I know we’ll win,
Against that wicked Witch we’ll stand,
Come start our quest through Pantoland!
Characters
DAME: Pantomime Dame character. (Obviously, best played by a man)
GIRL: Principal Girl character. (Female) 
BOY: Principal male character. (Can either be played by male, or female as Principal Boy)
FOOL: “Simple Simon” type character. (Ideally male, but could be played by female)
HONEYSUCKLE: The Good Fairy. (Female)
POISON IVY: The Wicked Witch. (Female)
WIZBAD: Our comedy bungling baddie. (Male)
SMALLER PARTS: (Joining the Chorus for the rest of the show:)
The Herald
The King and Queen
The Genie
Tommy the Cat
Buttermilk the pantomime cow
The Lord Chamberlain
CHORUS:  Panto-folk / Villagers
Courtiers
Citizens of Peking
Londoners
Royal Servants / Maids
Palace Ball Guests
DANCERS:  Featured in musical numbers as desired.  Also play the Witch’s minions in two scenes.

Scenes
ACT I  
Scene 1 : The Land of Make Believe (Full stage village scene)
Scene 2 : The Adventure Begins … (Front of Tabs)
Scene 3 : Golden Slumbers (Full stage Castle interior scene)
Scene 4 : The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Front of Tabs or front cloth)
Scene 5 : Oriental Magic (Full stage Chinese scene)
Scene 6 : Where the Streets are Paved with Gold? (Full stage London scene, or as Act I Scene 1)
ACT II  
Scene 1 : Don’t Spill the Beans! (Probably as Act I Scene 1)
Scene 2 : The Apprentice – You’re Fired! (As Act I Scene 4)
Scene 3 : An Apple a Day … (As Act I Scene 3)
Scene 4 : Sisterly Love? (Front of Tabs)
Scene 5 : The Palace Ballroom (Full stage Ballroom scene)
Scene 6 : [Optional] A Fun-filled Finish (Front of Tabs)
Scene 7 : Back Where We Started From (Probably as Act I Scene 1)
Note re Staging:

The scenery can be achieved very symbolically, as per notes in the script, and has even been played on a permanent “Land of Make Believe” set.  However, the more ambitious can have a field day!
AMATEUR STAGE MAGAZINE WROTE ...

"...The premise of this pantomime amalgam intrigued me considerably.  A group of four standard pantomime characters - the Dame, Principal Boy, Principal Girl and the helpful but inept Simpleton, are tricked out of their home in "The Land of Make Believe" by the Evil Witch, losing their memories in the process.  They then have to assume the lead roles in a succession of traditional panto vignettes in order to re-establish their identities.

They work their way through versions of Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Dick Whittington, Jack & the Beanstalk, Snow White and Cinderella before recovering their memories and their true identities.  The various scenes are all linked by the continued machinations of the Evil Witch and her hapless assistant.

I found that the script flows well and audiences will all instantly recognise the familiar mini-pantos portrayed.  The characters too are easily recognisable by their dialogue and actions and there are some genuinely funny lines.  Overall, this is a clever script which will certainly appeal."

A VERY UNUSUAL MENTION ...

“…That this House congratulates the Gatwick Airport Pantomime Society in its 20th anniversary year of performances and delighting packed houses with their production of ‘Adventure in Pantoland’ while raising £299,000 since 1990 for 45 Surrey and Sussex charities and Great Ormond Street Hospital; recognises that the cast and crew are made up of British Airways aircrew giving of their time and talent to support worthy causes.”
Early Day Motion, Parliamentary Business, 8 February 2010
Re Gatwick Airport Pantomime Society’s 20th anniversary production

“Alan Frayn is a clever soul combining most of our favourite pantomimes all into one very funny zip-along-paced script and this was used to full effect by a very talented company celebrating their 40th year in style. Never have I laughed so much while thoroughly enjoying a production as I did for Adventure in Pantoland.”

NODA Report

Plumpton Pantomime Society

"...It has brought some long needed glamour and excitement to Torbay in a show that has universal appeal to young and old. The show fairly romps along, barely pausing for breath. This slick professional production is the best summer show seen in Torbay for some time."

The Stage Magazine

Re a professional summer show version of this script

“…Adventure in Pantoland is a delightful romp through not one, but six well-loved pantomime stories. The author, Alan Frayn, has helped us by re-writing sections of the script so that we can make best use of the talents of our very large cast. It has been both a challenge and a privilege to bring his script to life and we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.”

Hutton Rudby Dramatic Society

Re their 70th anniversary pantomime

"...I had not seen this panto before but I loved the concept of 6 pantomimes for the price of one, with each of the principals taking the same part in each one. This was a cracking pantomime with lots of laughs. A great evening’s entertainment."

NODA Report

Newton AO&DS

"...This was a lively, colourful and charming production which blended together elements from a host of favourite pantomimes. The concept being that a gang of panto archetypes (Principal Boy, Dame, Fairy and Fool) search for their place in the world of pantomime, trying out several different roles in a number of favourite stories including Aladdin, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. The central characters link the narrative, along with the requisite hiss-worthy villains and other typical panto regulars – in what turned out to be a medley of panto's greatest hits."

NODA Report

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