27 Oct 2017
The team behind the new pantomime season at the York Barbican, which this year present a star studded Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, are spending the run up to Christmas working with ?fteen schools and organisations. They are teaching around one thousand of York’s children about the history and origins of the great British pantomime tradition; pantomime.
The panto partnership with Millthorpe School, Snappy, and local primary schools, has earned a ?nalists nomination for the York Culture Awards, in the category of Best Cultural Partnership. Winners will be announced at a ceremony at York Minster, on 23 November.
The Barbican’s pantomime producers have invested thousands of pounds in the education programme, which o?ers free workshops and training with theatre professionals, both at the York venue, and on site in schools across the city. Millthorpe Secondary School is the pantomime’s main partner school. From drama workshops for Year 7’s, to masterclasses and work placements for GCSE drama students, every year group is getting the chance to work with the show’s creative team.
Head of drama, Katy Sladen, said “We are thrilled and excited to be working with York Barbican's Panto this year. The team have provided wonderful opportunities for students across all year groups in the school to work with professional directors, actors and dancers from the company, both at the venue and on our school site. Students have gained a deeper understanding of the origins and development of the pantomime style and participated in workshops encouraging them to explore and develop their own performance skills. We now can't wait to see the show at the Barbican in December!”.
In July, a number of schools were invited to attend the Barbican for a day of dance, acting and music workshops, and throughout September, October and November, the panto team have been visiting schools in the North Yorkshire area with workshops for all ages.
Siobhan Gordon-Wylie, Year 3 and 4 teacher of Camblesforth Primary Academy near Selby, said “The History of Pantomime workshops were loved and enjoyed by all children and teachers involved. The children learned so much and the teachers did too. We had such a great day and it's de?nitely inspired children to get involved with drama and visiting the theatre”.
Sarah Munday, of Carr Junior School, said “Our children were engaged throughout the entire experience, largely due to the humorous and energetic delivery of Jamie, the workshop leader. Both pupils and sta? learned a vast amount... in fact, sta? were still discussing it in the Sta? room later on! We would thoroughly recommend this workshop to other schools with an interest in
drama, pantomime or theatre in general. Hopefully we will get an opportunity to work with the team again in future!”.
The outreach programme is the biggest yet undertaken by the York Barbican. Mark Scott, of the Barbican, said “The passion that our team show all year round to the art of pantomime is unparalleled. Having witnessed one of the workshops, it was wonderful to see children engrossed, enthused and becoming ?edgling theatre goers of the future”.
Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood stars Boyzone’s Shane Lynch as the wicked Sheri?, with Ben Adams from A1 in the title role. Ex EastEnder Ricky Norwood and Corrie star Michael Starke play Silly Billy and Nurse Nellie. Also joining the star studded cast are Phats & Small singer Ben Ofoedu, 90’s pop sensation Lolly aka Anna Kumble, and The Voice semi ?nalist Jaz Ellington. Local actress Beth Stevens completes the cast, playing Maid Marian.
Tickets for the Barbican’s spectacular family pantomime are priced from £14, and the show runs from 21-31 December 2017. For all the latest news, search Barbican Panto on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To book visit www.barbicanpanto.com.