The four goals of our courses on Radical Pantomime are explained here.
Goal 1: Make ‘Em Laughter
Our courses demonstrate the amazing comic elements of 19th-century pantomime scripts and how they can be used by young writers to:
- Set up a hypothesis that captures the attention of prospective audiences;
- Create entertaining characters – both ludicrously funny and the less than silly ones who makes the jokes and comic routines work;
- Develop wordplay – the wit and wisdom of the cut-and-thrust of comic writing;
- Tap into trending topics through the selection and use of big egos and even bigger ideas; and
- Arrange special effects that keep the performances surprising and an expression of a community celebration.
Goal 2: Find Your Audience
The courses pay particular attention to the synectic nature of the pantomime’s fairytale stories. That means young writers get to explore different themes and note their effect. We particularly focus on the ‘public holiday’ as an occasion to share a laugh.
We look at politically-minded comedy writing that brings together key messages with their comic treatment. We test hypotheses by trying various arrangements and building an online ‘trailer’ to see which idea is taken up by different audiences.
Goal 3: All Together Now
The courses aim to give young writers a deep sense of their place and time.
They do this by exploring the pantomime’s DARK SCENES which set up the conflict between good and bad.
They pay attention to beautiful heavenly scenes with magical powers. They look at indoor and outdoor scenes.
Most of all they get to explore all of the above in both physical spaces and globally connected online ways.
They become expert at depicting how the rich and poor characters are manifested in the comedy through wild scenes that take audiences to the edge of disaster.
Goal 4: Powerful Roles
The courses take a close-up view of the pantomime’s traditional characters, based on the Commedia Dell’Arte.
- Fathers based on Pantalone
- Pantomime girl based on Columbina
- Pantomime boy based on Arlecchino
- Flops and Flunkies of the count based on Brighella and
- the distinctly English additions of the Fairy Queen and Demon King and their choruses of all dancing and singing fairies and imps
These characters will be considered through movement as well as vocal tone. Wherever possible their masks and costumes will be included to show the lavish presentation of the pantomime types.