TJ Holmes as Mama Bear and James Pattison as Papa Bear in My First Panto Photo – Credit TMS


Norwich Eye spoke exclusively to Adam Taylor and Daniel Burgess about this year’s ‘My First Panto’ which has been adapted to offer families a safe lockdown friendly first panto experience, streaming directly to your home.

Panto season is definitely on its way..oh yes it is.

This year, The Garage in Norwich decided to take its festive My First Panto production Goldilocks and the Three Bears online. It is once again working with All-In Productions to present a show aimed at 0-7 year olds (plus their families and friends) which will be available to stream from early December. We caught up with writer-director Daniel Burgess and The Garage’s executive director and show producer Adam Taylor to find out more.

The My First shows are always brilliantly interactive for audience members of all ages. Tell us more about how it will work this year.
Adam – Our first plan was to film in front of a live audience but, because of the rules around Covid-19, we could not do that. This year, we want the families at home to join in. Pantomime is about the experience and being in the room and being part of it and we did not want that experience to be lessened because of the situation the country is in. Daniel had the great idea to make it interactive. Our audience can still get up and play but they also get to pick what happens in different parts of the show from their own home. I will let you into a secret. We make some porridge, and the audience gets to pick what goes into the porridge.
Your shows are always busy. Will the children watching be given lots to do in the online version?
Daniel – You will also get to see all the traditional things you would expect to see in a normal live pantomime like ‘he’s behind you’ and the ‘booing and hissing’ but we have also tried to incorporate some of the activities that people love when they come to a My First Panto like getting up and having a dance or taking part in the rodeo. We have really raised the bar this year as we cannot be in a live space and our audience will be watching at home.
Adam – Because we can’t see the audiences at home and see them all dressed up when they come to enjoy the show live as we normally do, we would love to see pictures through our social media so we can see the fun people are having enjoying the pantomime. You can tweet us @_TheGarage, or tag us on Instagram @thegaragenorwich or on Facebook @garage.norwich

The My First Panto director and cast – Photo TMS

As you mentioned earlier, all ages can enjoy it.
Daniel – As we have learned over the last five years while making My First shows, we have tailor-made them to be brilliant for 0-7-year olds and their families. It is surprising how often you are told older siblings might love it and we add in a few jokes for the mums and dads as well.
Adam – This is also a brand-new piece of theatre. There is original music from Lloyd Gorman as well as a really great cast. It stands up beautifully as a piece of work. Siblings and the whole family can have a hoot.
Finally, once Norwich beats the virus, will we get a chance to see the show live in an auditorium?
Adam – This particular show was written and designed specifically to be performed in this manner. We do have a plethora of other shows which are written and ready to go on stage when we can, including Cinderella Rocks, The Jungle Book and a toddler’s version of The Tempest. In the meantime, you can see Goldilocks and the Three Bears from December 4.


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