About Time for a Pantomime

Hurray! The silly season of saucy dames and thigh-slapping high jinks is almost upon us! The Stage Door is currently in rehearsals for our Pantomime ‘SLEEPING BEAUTY’, ready for performances on December 13th – 15th at The Turner Centre, so we thought we’d look at where the pantomime comes from, and what makes a good panto.

Where does the name come from?

The term Pantomime comes from ‘Pantomimos’ – an Ancient Greek name for entertainment by a solo actor who performed all the roles. ‘Panto’ means ‘All’ and ‘Mimos’ means ‘Actor’. The modern form of the Pantomime, however, comes from 16th century Italian street theatre ‘Commedia dell’arte’ which had a fixed set of recognisable characters.

What makes a good Pantomime?

As with the Commedia dell’arte, there are conventions that many Pantomimes follow. Here are a few of them…

  • The main young man in the play (the principal boy) may be played by a young woman, and usually in tight-fitting male clothes (such as breeches).
  • An older woman (the pantomime dame – often the hero’s mother) is usually played by a man dressed as a woman, accompanied by some very flamboyant outfits!
  • Often the children do not understand some of the jokes in Pantomimes. They are cheeky ones just for the grownups!
  • The audience are encouraged to take part. For example, they call “look behind you!”, and “Oh, yes it is!” or “Oh, no it isn’t!” The audience is always encouraged to “Boo” the villain, and “Awwwww” the poor victims.
  • It is panto custom that the goodie always enters from stage right, and the baddie from stage left, a tradition that’s evolved from superstition of right signifying Heaven, and left all things Hell, witchy and wicked.
  • There is usually a messy scene, involving water, slime, bubbles or custard pies
  • Pantomimes are a lot of fun for the audience, and for the performers. They are traditionally performed around Christmas time to spread some festive cheer and get everyone in the mood for the holiday period.

And, if all that has whet your appetite, we invite you to come and join us!


13th-15th December  |  The Turner Centre  |  Click here for tickets

SLEEPING BEAUTY: Tickets On Sale Now

Book tickets now for this fun-filled seasonal pantomime as The Stage Door Theatre Company put a new twist on this classic tale. Do the Fearsome Fairies defeat the wicked Malvoleena and her Hobgoblins in the Grisly Grotto? Why does Jolly Jack have to keep watering that strange plant? Who wakes the Princess with his kiss? Will the Cook catch the runaway chicken? All this, and meet Father Christmas in his grotto before the show!

  • DEC 13th at 7pm
  • DEC 14th at 2pm & 7pm
  • DEC 15th at 2pm

Tickets available through iTicket

Audition Update!

David writes on behalf of the audition team: “Massive thanks to all the 63 who came to the auditions yesterday, plus the other 4 who are still to audition yet as they couldn’t get there. We were blown away by the talent on display, lots of great new members to the ensemble too. Apologies for the long wait for some. Now a certain amount of work on the draft script is required as Sleeping Beauty is wide awake! We’ll be in touch with the casting soonest !”

Auditions for Sleeping Beauty

Yes, it will be pantomime again this December (Oh no it won’t ! – Oh yes it will !) when the Stage Door serves up another fun-filled fantasy. This year it’s that tale of the Princess who falls asleep after pricking her hand on a spindle,cursed by the wicked witch.Then she is woken up by the kiss of a Prince.

There are lots of great parts, of course. Many of which have never been heard of in the original version! Plus music and song (and a little choreography too!).

Auditions will be on 8 September, 2pm at the Turner Centre.
Performances at the Turner Centre December 13-15.

Directed by David Crewe

If you can’t make the Audition date, and you want to be considered, contact the Producer Tim Crawley:
or 021 249 4780.


King Henry
Queen Henrietta
Princess Aurora
Malvoleena – the bad fairy
Prince Egbert – King’s brother in league with Malvoleena
Jolly Jack – the Jester
The Cook (the Dame, man in drag)
The Chicken
The Nanny
Aunt Matilda, King’s sister
The Herald
Lady Isinglass
Lady Pokinghorne
Lord Pokinghorne
Lord Bungle
Lady Bungle
Lord Snivels

Fairy Queen
Rosalie, Viola, Flora, Cantita, Bella, Tiana
(Plus others depending on auditions)

(Plus others depending on auditions)

Bruce – the hero
Tina – his sister
Tanya – his sister

There is no experience necessary, and we welcome anyone who hasn’t been on the stage before. It’s a great, and fun, learning experience. We look forward to seeing you!

David Crewe, the Director, getting ready for audition time!

Sleeping Beauty artwork by Jo at the Take Five Agency