Write a Brilliant Pantomime with Billy & Wolfy

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How to use music

"If music be the food of love, play on".  No question Billy was as fond of music as Wolfy and used it to heighten the mood, comment on the story, and probably just because the audience like a good tune.  These are the reasons to put it in the panto, and also because the actors like to sing it.

I have always had the music specially written for the pantos Ive done. It is good in that it makes for a totally original performance. But there is a good case for using existing songs. The audience know them for a start.

Ideally the song should move the story forward (for example Beauty and the Beast can sing a duet to establish that they are in love). But a strong story can stand several songs that are put in for just the fun of it. (In a weak story the song is often a merciful relief from the weak story at least it is something different for the audience.

Here is a sort of recipe you may want to follow:

       Chorus songs at the beginning and end of each act

       Comic song in the middle of act 1 and maybe in act 2 but don't break the action

       A couple of solos or duets where they are needed to bolster the emotional content (or just where the actors want them or where you have thought of a an idea that seems too good to throw away

 That is really the end of my general advice.  The next page talks about writing for and directing children.  

So here is the final advice:

  1. Have a plot and make it a good mythic one.

  2. Aim high - but don't get trapped into being "poetic"

  3. Enjoy yourself as you write - but don't indulge yourself by filling it with personal jokes and self-references.


On to the section about Children's Pantomimes

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1: Panto Home   2: The tradition   2: The story    4: Pantomime Structure    5: Shaping scenes    6:  This page - Music    7:  Children  

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