My oh-so-lovely grand-daughter, Hazel, is starring in a Christmas panto. Cinderella? I hear you enquire. Or, bearing in mind she is a teenager, perhaps the Sleeping Beauty? No, on every count. She is, among other things,
a burger bun...
I know, I know, it is a considerable feat of the imagination to work out how a burger bun features in the age-old story of Jack and the Beanstalk. As I remember it (but please
feel free to interrupt and correct me if I'm wrong) Jack's mother sends him to town with a cow (or, possibly, a pig - but I'm pretty sure it was a cow) and the instructions that he is to sell the cow (or the pig - I'm wavering a bit) for lots of money.
Jack meets an old witch (or a wizard, or an aged crone - sorry, you might have to help me out here) who buys the cow / pig / choose alternative animal - in return for a handful of beans.
Mother of Jack is not at all happy when she hears what her son has done. In the less politically correct version of my childhood, he earned a good whipping. Today, I imagine, she sends him to sit on the naughty step. Either way, she throws the beans
out of the window and the next day they have grown into a beanstalk leading up into the Land of the Mighty Giant. Jack climbs the beanstalk and meets up with the Mighty Giant whose vocabulary is limited to "Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum." This sounds like Mr B and
I tuning up for choir practice.
So far, so good - but where, oh where, does the burger bun come in? Our Hazel does have other parts to play - she
is a goblin, a puppeteer and a villager. I can sort of fit all of them into the story somehow or other. She is also a "fancy", which I am struggling with (I'm thinking Mr Kipling's cakes?) - but the burger bun has me completely defeated.
I can't ask her because, as you know, panto secrets must be kept, well, secret. So I shall have to wait until Boxing Day when all will be revealed.
I like traditional pantomimes. I like them to stick to the story. I prefer it when the Principal Boy is a Girl. A little bit of slap-stick is fine, so long
as it fits the plot. I am not keen on the introduction of the latest pop songs - I love McFly but I'd prefer them not, if possible, to veer off into Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I don't actually need to see Ann Widdicombe in panto. I'm perfectly
happy with my Hazel. Even if she is a burger bun.
If any of you live within driving distance of South Hill Park Theatre in Bracknell, Berkshire (that's
England, for the benefit of my overseas readers) then performances of Jack and the Beanstalk start on December 1st. To see my Hazel Bagel, you will have to get tickets for a Wednesday or a Saturday. However I am sure there are perfectly adequate burger buns
appearing on the other nights.
If you do happen to get there, please make sure you give the whole company a round of applause. They will deserve
But save an extra special cheer, please, for the burger bun...