He’s behind you – The Great British Pantomime

bernie clifton

I am trying to keep a balance on my blog between serious issues and those of a more light-hearted nature. After all I could probably post hundreds of dark, broody poems written over the years. So, one of the things I love about the Christmas season is the great British Pantomime.  Ever since I was a child I have loved panto. It is so cheesy, corny, camp and so British. I thought Peter Day on the BBC News website summed up beautifully what a pantomime audience wants. ‘For two hours they want to immerse themselves in that curious mixture of comedy, cross-dressing, childish repertoire, wild ad libs, mild innuendo… and relentless tradition.’ I have written and directed a few but never been in one and I should have rectified that years ago. This year I will be watching Bernie Clifton in Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs and hopefully laughing for two hours like I did when I saw him a couple of years ago. Laughter is great medicine hence the reason I have complete DVD collections of great comedy such as The Good Life, Porridge, Steptoe and Son, Men Behaving Badly etc. So this Christmas make sure you laugh a lot and enjoy those precious moments with your family.


Outside the English streets are grey and dark

Raindrops clatter car roofs, rhythmically tapping time.

Huddled against the approaching night

Fresh faces appear shrouded in scarves and hats

As hounds at the leash the children bustle to the door.

The pied piper has already played his tune

Magic has taken over

Disbelief will be shed

Like an unwanted present that morning.

Expectant murmurs hang in the air

Snippets of conversation

The rustling of wrappers

Drift away as the lights dim

The magic begins.

The audience morphed into one with childlike innocence

Ready to shout, cheer and boo,

Inhibitions left in the cold street outside.

For a few brief hours the world is forgotten.


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