On Wednesday 5th December panto passionistas across the world came together to celebrate the magic of pantomime. In total, over 150 theatres in the UK, America and South Africa participated, with Panto Day tweets reaching a global audience of 1.5 Million.
Throughout the day casts across the country tweeted behind the scenes pictures and posted their Panto Day photos on Facebook. Panto Day’s Six Live Tweeters shared their every move from wake-up to walkdown, providing a fascinating insight into the Industry in Panto Day’s new project for 2012: ‘A Day in the Life of Pantoland’.
Whilst Craig Glover stopped for Percy Pigs on his way to rehearsals, Craig Daniel Adams was being hoisted into the flies as Peter Pan. Tweedy the Clown shared the secrets of his warm up and as Kevin James provided a lesson in panto Villain make-up, Robert Pearce gave an insight into a pantomime technical rehearsal. Jane Deane tweeted live from the rehearsal room as she received direction and blocked her text and in addition to the ‘Panto Day Six’ Dame Sarah the Cook took over Loughborough Town Hall’s Twitter to tweet her every move.
Panto Day’s Facebook page filled with panto posts and messages and currently hosts over 200 pantomime posters and photographs, capturing the 2012 season for future generations. Theatres posted examples of their warm-up routines and set-build process and alongside all the good luck messages and behind the scenes sneak peeks, panto companies were also celebrating in true theatrical style.
Paul Holman Associates, who are producing 13 pantomimes this season, got their casts to celebrate with a Panto Day tribute inspired by Depeche Mode’s ‘I Just Can’t Enough Enough’ featuring producer Paul Holman himself, whilst the Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne’s Ugly Sisters video-blogged about the day, complete with panto inspired ‘12 Days of Christmas’ . The staff at the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford showed they could perform just as well as their on-stage counterparts and photographer Sally Maid launched her ‘12 Dames of Christmas’ project.
The Theatre Royal, Stratford East shared Jack and the Beanstalk rehearsal footage, whilst the cast of Snow White at the Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock shot their very own mini-Panto Day documentary complete with interviews and behind the scenes tour.
Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre blogged at regular intervals throughout their technical rehearsal, whilst at their 10.30am performance of Snow White, tweets from Mansfield Palace’s twitter account came every 5 minutes, offering followers a unique 'Tweet-Seat' view of the show. Twitter account @MansfieldPalace also conducted interviews with their cast online, whilst earlier in the day on ITV1 Christopher Biggins and a host of other panto stars joined This Morning's panto fun, complete with Big Fat Panto Quiz.
At 7.00pm John Barrowman and Priscilla Presley joined Matt Baker and Alex Jones on the One Show sofa to talk about their pantomimes in Glasgow and Wimbledon and throughout the day BBC Local Radio Stations Newcastle, London, Suffolk and Nottingham invited panto guests onto their shows to talk about the genre and its enduring appeal. In the evening Panto Day even enjoyed a surprise mention from Jeremy Paxman on BBC Two’s Newsnight!
Wednesday 5th December saw the launch of the Panto Advice Page with Panto Dames, Comics, writers and directors contributing articles whilst on Twitter '#panto' tweets reached over 1.2 million people. When combined with '#pantoday' tweets, the global twitter Panto Day audience peaked at 1,579,267 users with #panto trending for many with ‘tailored trend’ settings.
Theatres used the day to celebrate their pantos past and present, with many also revealing their titles for 2013.
Panto Day Co-ordinator Simon Sladen said:
"The whole of Pantoland came together on Panto Day to celebrate this glorious art form. Using social media, panto passion was shared throughout the land, with theatres and companies entering into the spirit of things; the results of which can be seen and enjoyed on celebratepanto.co.uk and facebook.com/pantoday2012. Wednesday 5th December was well and truly alive with Panto Day buzz and I'd like to thank everyone who participated and made the day such a great success. With Panto Day 2012 ‘behind us’, here’s to 2013!"