I have been a regular at the York Theatre Royal panto since I was little. I can’t remember a time when Berwick ‘Me babbies, me bairns!’ Kaler was not the pantomime Dame there. This year is his 39th year of being the Dame at the Theatre Royal though, so it’s hardly surprising. When I told my children that I saw Berwick in the panto when I was their age, they were both incredulous and damning that he couldn’t possibly be that old. The insult was definitely levelled in my direction rather than Berwick’s though, who was as lively and slapstick as ever!
I was also very happy to see the return of Martin Barrass who was involved in a serious accident on his motorbike last year. Like Berwick, he was on great form. The pair made several jokes about their ribs – Martin broke 17 of his ribs in the accident, while Berwick had his broken during heart surgery earlier this year.
This year’s offering was ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and is the first year we have taken the children to an evening pantomime. They are more early-to-bed kids and I usually opt for a matinee. I was a bit worried, there would be a bit of tired grumpiness towards the end of the performance, but they were captivated throughout. It’s definitely more of a grown-ups’ pantomime, with lots of in-jokes that had Miss H saying ‘I didn’t understand that’. But it never mattered to them, they loved it anyway. They loved the high energy, the glittering costumes and the slapstick comedy.
Watching the York Theatre Royal panto is like coming home for Christmas. It’s funny, and heart-warming and you feel like you are amongst family. We are already looking forward to next year!
Have a look at what other events are on in Yorkshire this Christmas.