British Pantomime – Old King Cole

British Pantomime

A Traditional British Pantomime

Buy Tickets for Old King Cole
by Paul Reakes

Directed by Debbie Taylor

Copenhagen Theatre Circle is proud to present Old King Cole to Danish audiences. Once again bringing the family tradition of British pantomime to Denmark. For those not familiar with the tradition, British pantomimes are usually based on a well-known fairytale but some, like this one, are based on a nursery rhyme. They are in fact not mime in the true sense of the word. They are far from silent! There is singing and dancing and a lot of participation from the audience who are encouraged to cheer the goodies, boo the baddies and generally exchange a great deal of good-humoured banter with the actors. Although basically a children‘s entertainment, there is always plenty to amuse the adults too. A British pantomime is traditionally a Christmas show but CTC has chosen to stage this one in January. This is when most people are back from Christmas vacations and looking for something to chase away those January blues.

In this pantomime we meet Old King Cole. He may be old, but he’s not too old to fall in love. He’s decided that it’s high time he took a wife. The women of the town, including the royal cook, Dotty Dumplin, are queuing up to audition for the role of Queen, but the King has his heart set on Debbie Dumplin, Dotty’s beautiful young daughter. Unfortunately, Debbie has fallen in love with Florian, the King’s aide. Meanwhile, King Cole’s evil brother Peski and his wife Pariah are conspiring to unseat him from the throne, with a little help from a magic pool that reverses the ageing process.

Pantomime grew out of the Italian commedia dell’arte, which reached England in the 17th century. It quickly became a popular form of entertainment. Mixed with traditions from the British music hall (“Good Old Days”), it evolved into what we know today as the modern British pantomime. The cast usually includes a “principal boy” (often played by a girl), a “principal girl” (played by a pretty girl), a “dame” (played by a man), a villain, a good fairy and an animal (played by a member of the chorus).

A vital ingredient of a pantomime is audience participation. The audience is invited to “boo” when one of the evil characters appears on stage and to cheer when the hero or heroine appears. Exchanges between the audience and cast are frequent and entertaining. For most Brits, the Christmas season is not complete without a “panto”. Now you can share the experience with the entire family right here – a British Pantomime right here in Copenhagen!

15 – 19 January, 22 – 26 January and 29 January – 1 February 2014

Old King Cole: Raymond Shinn
Dottie Dumpling: Martin Popplewell
Debbie Dumpling: Alice Presencer
Florian: Rebecca Vaa
Pariah: Seraina Nett
Peski: Nino Burini
Lady Dragonia: Stephanie Miles Carlsen
Little King Cole: David Murphy
Herald: Hubert Baumeister
1st Fiddler: Michelle Murphy
2nd Fiddler: Ziggie Bruhn
3rd Fiddler: Timian Ørom Olesen
Chorus: Svava Davidsdóttir, Luis Montero Flores, Gaurav Mehendiratta, Agnes Henrikson, Elina Roivainen, Kevin Yuven.

Behind the Scenes of a British Pantomime

Check out the cast working hard to bring the pantomime magic to life, then visit the gallery page to see photos from the production!