Theatre Britain presents the world premiere of King Arthur, a traditional British panto by Jackie Mellor-Guin, at the Cox Building Playhouse in downtown Plano. If you haven’t heard of a panto, don’t worry—even spell checkers haven’t. (They really want to call it pants.)
A panto is a fun, crazy, and colorful twist on a traditional fairy tale where anything goes—and usually does. It’s a G-rated, family-friendly production with wacky characters, song and dance, corny jokes, and lots of audience participation. In short, it’s great fun! In England, the holidays just wouldn’t be the holidays without a panto!
The centerpiece of any panto is The Dame, a comic, larger-than-life character, played by a man. The Principal Boy is the romantic male lead, played by a woman. The Villain is always mean and nasty and must be booed and hissed by the audience at every opportunity. And then there’s the inevitable ghost who pops up—and it’s up to the audience to warn the characters onstage.
A panto is a wonderful way to entertain children, involving them interactively with the characters, encouraging them to cheer, enlisting their help to support good characters, and above all, to see that the good chap helps the damsel in distress. And because a panto works on two levels, like a good Bugs Bunny cartoon, there’s plenty for the adults to enjoy as well.
See it all for yourself at King Arthur, and find out why a holiday panto is a family tradition over in merry old England.
Theatre Britain’s King Arthur
Where: The Cox Building Playhouse, 1517 H Ave., Plano, Texas 75074
November 28–December 27, 2015
• Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
• Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
• Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Tickets: Adults, $21; seniors 60+ and students, $16; kids 14 and under, $11. Get a 10% discount for parties of 10 or more. Buy tickets here.