Why a Pantomime? Why Sleeping Beauty?

10 Jan 2013

Richard Gill's poem about his new pantomine, Sleeping Beauty.

Richard Gill and Daniel Todd (Prince Waldheim)

Once upon a time, almost four hundred years ago,
A Frenchman came into the world, whose name was Charles Perrault.

He loved to tell his stories and he loved to write them down.
He told them to his children and they gained in great renown.

Cinderella tells us, in the nicest sort of way,
That in spite of awful sisters, we all will have our day.

Puss-in-Boots is smart and quick and ready for a chat,
I doubt that you will ever meet a more endearing cat.

Red Riding Hood makes one mistake and finds herself in danger,
Moral of the story: never listen to a stranger.

But Sleeping Beauty has a twist and magic plays a part,
Especially when the Prince arrives to claim Miss Beauty's heart.

A Pantomime is full of fun there's lots of opportunity,
To sing-along, to learn the songs and call out with impunity.

"She's over there," "She's over here," "She's standing right behind."
"He's near the tree," "He's on the floor," "Oh heavens! Are you blind?"

The origin of Pantomime goes back to ancient days.
The Greeks and Romans, loved to act, and do outrageous plays.

They loved to sing and shout out things, which we would think quite rude,
But fear not, Mums and Dads and all, our show has nothing rude.

For children and for families a visit to our show,
Is just the way to spend some time before the holidays go.

Come as you are, in shorts and shirts and comfortable old sandals,
Or if you are a Kiwi, then please visit us in Jandals*.

Your children will have such a ball and you too will have fun,
Bring all your friends of every age from four to ninety-one.

Victorian Opera, full of pride, takes every opportunity,
To reach out near, and far and wide, to all of the community.

Opera is tremendous fun; it's been here for some time,
So come along and join us all for our new Pantomime.

It is a must; you mustn't miss; it simply is your duty,
To join us at Her Majesty's for this year's Sleeping Beauty.

*Jandals - The New Zealand word for 'thongs'.

- Richard Gill

Sleeping Beauty was part of Victorian Opera's Season 2013.