Should pantomime’s be political? Isn’t politics the biggest pantomime of all?

Writer/Producer and former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan appeared on Good Morning Britain this morning talking about “this year’s planet saving pantomime” Jack and the Beanstalk playing at the Lighthouse Theatre in Poole from 12 December.

The TV segment sparked the topic of whether or not pantomime should be political or not. But isn’t the idea of panto to be topical and to make fun of newsworthy stories from throughout the year? And politics and climate change have been possibly the most discussed news items of late.

Wikipedia defines it as ‘a theatrical entertainment, mainly for children, that involves music, topical jokes, and slapstick comedy and is based on a fairy tale or nursery story, usually produced around Christmas.‘ So I would say ‘topical jokes’ about politics and climate change would fit right in?

Presenter Piers Morgan said “I agree with climate change – I just don’t want to go to a pantomime shrieking about it.”

I think the truth is, like every theatre show, until we have seen it for ourselves and understood the context of the message, we shouldn’t try to judge it for what it may or may not be.

To be perfectly honest, politics itself seems to be the biggest pantomime of them all right now and so there is some irony to having a debate about whether or not pantomimes should talk about it.


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