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Children and Pantomimes

(47 Posts)
Granarchist Tue 24-Nov-15 12:06:58

I am panicking. I have been given free tickets for me and DGD to go to Aladdin. She is just 3. Is this too young? We also get to go backstage afterwards - I am sure this will not register at all!! She is shy but loves the Frozen DVD and music generally. Advice please!!!

harrigran Tue 24-Nov-15 12:14:43

My GDs wouldn't sit through a panto at three. There is a lot of shouting and sometimes bangs which often cause alarm.

ginbins Tue 24-Nov-15 12:28:24

Ditto to Harrigran.

Katek Tue 24-Nov-15 12:38:55

From the other side of the curtain .... 3 is too little. They either cry because they're bored/frightened or else mums let them run around. Some of the special effects in professional pantos are spectacular but very frightening-couple of years ago I had dgc at pro panto where a 3D dragon seemingly flew out of the stage! It was huge and very scary and even at 7 the dgc were nearly under the seat (beside Nanna!) Another year will make all the difference to your dgd.

Cressida Tue 24-Nov-15 12:49:23

It depends on the child. I worried that one of my granddaughters would be too young at 2 & a half but she was fine although a bit of a fidget.

When they invited children up on to the stage my only just 4 year old grandson was off like a shot but there was no way 7 year old grandson was going with him.

Luckygirl Tue 24-Nov-15 12:51:26

At the panto in our local theatre children are always coming out crying because they are scared. Talk to the theatre and ask them if there are any scary scenes and what they are - never forget that the special effects that seem benign to us can be very scary to a little one.

Granarchist Tue 24-Nov-15 13:06:51

Luckygirl - that is such a good idea - I will ring them. Problem is that the friend who has given us the tickets is also coming with his partner and not only that the lead role is his son!!! So its a big treat! Oh I just wish I had turned it down. I am preparing her for the noise.

vampirequeen Tue 24-Nov-15 13:57:16

Mine went when they were that young and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tell you DGD the story in advance and that there will be a wicked character who you will be able to boo and hiss at whenever they come on stage and that there will be some loud noises but it's all make believe like a game.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 24-Nov-15 14:09:35

"even at 7 the dgc were nearly under the seat (beside Nanna!) " (*KateK*)

Lol! grin

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 24-Nov-15 14:10:39

I think it's too young. It's bound to be scary some of the time.

whitewave Tue 24-Nov-15 15:43:05

Both our GS's too old now. But eldest enjoyed it all secon d one more timid. One year was a complete washout. One the way to pre-panto lunch eldest was totally sick so I stayed with youngest in restaurant whilst DH took eldest home. We were in theatre for perhaps half an hour and youngest cried"don't like it, don't like it" so we all went homegrin

Ana Tue 24-Nov-15 15:47:43

Three is a bit young to take in an explanation that it's 'not real' - panto's not like the tv or a film, the actors are there in your face and they do tend to shout!

Mine have been every year since they were six, but wouldn't have enjoyed it at all any younger.

hildajenniJ Tue 24-Nov-15 16:40:45

My DGSs have autism and I got really excited finding out that one of the theatres in Glasgow was doing an autism friendly performance of their panto. On enquiring I found out that this performance is actually directed at special schools and is being held on a weekday after the end of the Christmas holidays. I was disappointed. The theatre were very good though and told me that we could take them an hour before the start of the show and they would be shown the special effects and noises etc. I would have taken them up on their offer, but DD thought that at 3, youngest DGS would be too little and it would be unfair to have to leave him out.

Coolgran65 Tue 24-Nov-15 18:22:08

At age 4 our dgs was so distressed that we phoned his dad to come collect him. His 6 year old sister loved it and told him he was being a baby.... .....He also wasn't very happy at the cinema but is coming around on that.

ninathenana Tue 24-Nov-15 18:43:40

I don't think either of mine (6 and3) could sit still long enough.

Katek Tue 24-Nov-15 18:44:46

Our local theatre has a 'relaxed' performance specifically designed for those with autistic spectrum disorders and other learning difficulties. It's open to general public but it is post Xmas-3rd Jan I think. There is also a signed performance and an audio described one. Panto isn't all fun and fairies....It goes back to 16c commedia dell'arte and earlier medieval mummers' plays and has its darker side and traditions. Good fairies always enter stage right and bad spirits/demons from the left(sinister). When speaking the good fairy should transfer her wand from right to left hand to cover her heart from the demon. It's a fascinating branch of theatre.

M0nica Tue 24-Nov-15 20:16:28

We took DGS to the pantomime aged 3, we were going with DGD aged 6. He throughly enjoyed it; bangs, special effects and all the rest. When he got a bit wriggly, he was taken out for a quick run round in the foyer, but wanted to get back in as soon as possible.

We took DGD, when she was a few months short of 5 to a performance of The Nutcracker at the Colisseum in London. She loves ballet and stood up to watch it silently and absolutely entranced all the way through .... and beyond because she did an impromptu re-creation of one of ballet dances in the restaurant where we went to eat in and got a round of applause!

rosesarered Tue 24-Nov-15 20:28:49

It's a lot of years ago, but our children, then aged three, four and six , at their first ever prof. Panto ( at great expense) reacted thus:the 3 year old went straight under his seat holding his packet of fruit gums, and stayed there until the end, despite coaxing) the four year old was entranced by it all but wouldn't join in, or say ' behind you!' Etc and the six year old loved it and shouted and yelled enthusiastically.

durhamjen Tue 24-Nov-15 20:53:35

Hilda, we've always taken all the grandchildren to pantos. My youngest granddaughter, eight, is dancing in Jack and the Beanstalk at Consett for the third year running.
My grandson is 13 and has autism. We take ear defenders with us, so he can wear them if necessary. He is always surrounded by family, and wears a coat with a hood to block out the sound of noisy kids if necessary. He has got better with age. It's always more about expectation, and not knowing what will happen with him, even things he's been to lots of times before. He's the same at Bonfire Night, really worked up before he goes and enjoys it when he gets there.
The worst one he went to was when Brian Blessed was the voice of the giant. We kept telling him he would be used to the noise before he heard the giant, but the first voice we heard was Brian Blessed's. He had tears in his eyes then, but he enjoyed it and was joining in by the end.
Middle granddaughter was only twenty months old when we took her. It was her great grandmother's 80th birthday on New Year's Day. We had a front balcony row, so she could play on the stairs if necessary.

Deedaa Tue 24-Nov-15 21:49:30

GS2 is going to the pantomime for his third birthday. Justin Fletcher is the star and DD is hoping that he will wish GS2 Happy Birthday, thus making her the best mother in the world ever! I think he will enjoy it as he is much more outgoing than his older brother.

durhamjen Tue 24-Nov-15 22:20:27

Granarchist, my granddaughter danced in Aladdin last year. It usually isn't as loud and scary as some of the others; at least it wasn't in Consett. Your problem then is that she might want to be one of the dancers next year.

harrigran Tue 24-Nov-15 23:04:32

Our choice of Panto would be Consett but school are taking all the children to Theatre Royal in Newcastle.

durhamjen Tue 24-Nov-15 23:41:27

Until my granddaughter was in it, we used to go to the Gala in Durham, but before that we lived in York for ten years, and went to the Theatre Royal there. Used to come in handy having a guest house, so all the family could come there and go to the pantomime together.
The only one of the family who hasn't been is the Spanish daughter in law. She just does not understand them.
The Danish one was brought up on Hans Christian Andersen, although she had never been to a pantomime before she moved to England. The first one she went to see with us was Puss in Boots, and she didn't understand it at all, but she joined in the shouting and booing along with everyone else. Now she has to be a backstage chaperone.

rubylady Wed 25-Nov-15 00:31:34

Mine went as babies, my DD at 12 months old and my DS at 8 months old and every year from then on and loved it. I miss it now. sad

gillybob Wed 25-Nov-15 11:15:41

Mine have been going since they were babies too rubylady . They love the pantomime. DGS (5) who is a normally bit of a fidget sits glued to his seat in the theatre. We took them to see Shrek the Musical a few months back and they were mesmerized all the way through it. When it was finished DGS asked if he could come back and see it again tomorrow smile