FAQ

Pattie Breadcake: Into the Pantoverse – FAQ

Click on any of the questions below to jump straight to the answer, or simply scroll through them all.

If you have any further questions, or even feedback, feel free to contact us by email: panto@middlechildtheatre.co.uk

Why is panto different this year?

The impact of the pandemic has led to restrictions on venues in Hull opening for Christmas, meaning we can’t be together in a theatre as we have done with our previous shows. Rather than wait until we can do that again, we decided to embrace people’s appetite for digital content so we can still spread some Christmas cheer this year. Doing an animated Christmas show, inspired by our annual panto, and sharing it online also means we can reach a wider audience and gives people outside of Hull a chance to enjoy our panto for the first time. 

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Is there music?

Our Christmas production is usually a rock’n’roll affair but we’re taking a different approach with this panto-inspired animated show, to work within YouTube’s music licensing rules, and cramming it full of extra jokes and quickfire gags instead.

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Why aren’t you doing Rapunzel, as was voted for at last year’s pantomime?

We’re saving Rapunzel for 2021 instead, when we can do it live and in-person, and have come up with an exciting new storyline for this year, which better suits the digital format we have chosen. 

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What is “The Pantoverse”?

It’s an animated version of Hull and our panto set where our dame, Pattie Breadcake, is transported to, where she meets our four misunderstood panto princesses: Sleeping Beauty, Maid Marian, the Evil Queen and Cinderella. 

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What’s the actual storyline?

Our panto dame, Pattie Breadcake, is getting ready at home to perform in our usual panto when she realises all the theatres are closed, only to be whisked by magic into the animated pantoverse. Here she meets our four princesses – Sleeping Beauty, Maid Marian, the Evil Queen and Cinderella – who take it in turn to retell their panto stories, without the usual damsel-in-distress vibes that have dominated panto for too long.

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Who is it suitable for?

Pattie Breadcake: Into the Pantoverse is a family oriented show. It includes panto-style innuendo, covid-19 references and themes of loneliness, missing family and friends and body image. In one instance alludes to swearing – though no swear words are heard at any point.

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When can I watch it?

You can watch whenever and as often as you like, between 12pm on Saturday 19 December and midnight on Thursday 31 December.

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Why is it only available between these dates?

We want to encourage as many people as possible to watch it over the Christmas period, when we could all, no doubt, do with some extra festive spirit after a tough year.

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Where can I watch it?

The video will be shared on YouTube. Visit our website once it’s live to get the link and search terms to find it. You can either watch it on your laptop, a mobile phone or tablet, or on a smart TV or games console through the YouTube app. We recommend getting together as a household around a big screen to watch it.

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How long is it?

It’s approximately 85 minutes in total, with multiple intervals, so you can pause it whenever you like to stock up on hot chocolate and mince pies. The individual stories are broken down into chapters, which you can jump between on the red progress bar, at the bottom of the video.

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Is it really free?

Yes, totally free! All we ask in return is that you share some contact details with us, so we can send you a short audience survey in January.

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How do I find the video?

Return to our website when you’re ready to watch it, from 19-31 Dec, and we’ll share a link to a short form that asks for your email address and postcode. Once you share this info with us, we’ll send you to the video.

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Can I watch it on a games console or smart TV?

Yes. Find our YouTube channel by searching “middlechildtheatre”, but please do still consider sharing your details with us, as this will be really helpful for us in creating future work.

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Will it be captioned?

Yes, you will be able to toggle on/off English subtitles.

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Can I share the link to the video with friends and family?

You can, but we’d really appreciate it if you could send them to our website instead, to fill in the form, so we can get to know more of our audience. 

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Who has written it?

This year’s panto is a collaboration between five writers. Middle Child artistic director Paul Smith, who wrote Beauty and the Beast (2018) and The Little Mermaid (2019), has written Pattie’s opening and closing monologues. Founding Middle Child member Ellen Brammar has written Sleeping Beauty’s chapter, followed by Maid Marian’s story by Hannah Scorer, a new writer who took part in our Writers’ Group last year. Maureen Lennon, another Hull writer who wrote our karaoke cabaret, Us Against Whatever (2019), has written the Evil Queen’s story. Finally Deborah Acheampong, one of our new associate writers, has written the story of Cinderella. 

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Is Marc Graham back as Pattie Breadcake?

He is indeed. And like you’ve never seen him before!

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Why aren’t you doing an adult panto?

We wanted to focus on doing something special for families this year, but as with all of our pantos, this one has something for people of all ages, including plenty of jokes that will fly over the heads of little ones.

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If I don’t have a computer is there another way to enjoy the show?

We are working with BBC Radio Humberside to broadcast a special radio version, over four episodes in the run-up to Christmas: one episode for each story, from 20-24 Dec.

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Can we join in like we usually do?

Absolutely! We positively encourage you to shout at the screen, just like you would in a theatre. There will even be plenty of hints in the video when to do just that.

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How do I get YouTube on my television?

Many smart televisions will have settings or even a ‘store’ where you can add apps, including YouTube. This includes games consoles, such as a Playstation or Xbox. Please see YouTube support for more information on how to get it on your television.

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