Panto time! Why we should praise and not scorn the seasonal treat.

At the end of a long season the theatre provides a bit of light relief to the programme with a Panto. This usually runs from early December to early January. Set around a fairy tale these comedies bring about a great sense of fun and frivolity to the theatre. And yet there are some that don’t like them and say they are juvenile and out of date. Those people could not be further from the truth. The Panto is following in the great tradition of the Italian Commedia dell’ arte. This was where raucous street acts would create funny plays to the passersby. The idea came to Britain and became a staple of the season.

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For many it is the first time we visit the theatre. What an introduction the Pantomime is! Whether it’s with a school group or with family it’s a great way to get the people hooked on live performance and not the Cinema or Television all the time.  The grandness of a Panto Preston show for example is going to stay with someone forever. What is on this year at the Panto in Preston? Is a regular question asked in households in the North at this time of year in anticipation of the fun and frolics to come.

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So, whilst me may not see the kind of performances that would put Gielgud or Bale into the shade we should embrace the spectacle and the spirit of the panto show. Go along, sit back and let the comedy, cheesy though it might be, take you. It is Christmas after all.

Banging floor fillers guaranteed to get you up.

Nightclubs, family parties, Weddings or just a night out somewhere usually means that you will be face to face with the disco dance floor at some point. There will always be one song that calls to you, or it’s your Nan nagging you to get up and make some shapes on the floor, even if those shapes turn out or be rather badly executed shifting parallelograms. A visit to Cheltenham Nightclubs is always fun and these tunes are considered to be some of the most outstanding over the years, in no particular order. You don’t even need to be under any influence to get up and shake your money maker or anything else for that matter.

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  1. Tease Me by Chaka Demus and Pliers. Bringing the Caribbean to a Romford Engagement party was this chunky favourite. Pliers (away from his plumbing job presumably) is laying down a bass for Chaka to pop in the cheekily written lyrics. Usually the song that gets Paul from Parts suggestively gyrating around a surprisingly receptive Diane from reception.
  2. Twistin’ the night away by Sam Cooke. A wildly rotating dance song that will have a hundred hips pop and protest as people who were 21 in 1962 suddenly forget they are now 78. The song that sees Aunt Joan give it a few minutes then needs a Gin to recover.

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  1. Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads.  Proof, if proof is needed, that the lyrics and sentiment of song  mean nothing on the dancefloor and just the fact you can walk around waving your arms to this is justification enough.
  2. Dancing Queen by Abba. By any measure any Abba song seems to get people on the floor. The classy Swedes seem to have become the poster band for the seventies even if you aren’t young and sweet and only seventeen anymore.
  3. Hey Ya by Outkast. Probably the only time that anyone over the age of 65 will ever try and dance to hip hop. The sight of 25 people of mixed ages shaking an imaginary photo will stay with you even if you’re not involved.
  4. Love train by The O’Jays. When this comes on it seems to be the go ahead for a pseudo-conga line when someone shouts “Love train! Woo woo!” and starts moving their hands like a locomotive. Everyone is then expected to couple up onto the “Love train” and snake around the room.
  5. I Will survive by Gloria Gaynor. It will take all the strength you have not to fall apart and start moving to this one.

Rocking at the Dominion

London is a great holiday destination.  As the UK’s capital, it poses a host of opportunities: there are a seemingly inexhaustible amount of things to see and to do.  Not limited to being one of the most exciting countries in the UK, London is one of the greatest places to holiday in the whole of Europe.  So instead of stressing yourself out by navigating your way to foreign shores, why not explore those within easy, accessible reach?  London is a great opportunity for a holiday that everyone will enjoy, such is its wide scope for providing entertainment. Read more

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