When you travel abroad, one of the most exciting things is trying new food or partaking in activities you haven't heard of before.
A few years ago I was living in Sheffield, England and my flat mates suggested I go see a Pantomime. Now I had never heard of a Pantomime before, but I soon discovered that England was big on Pantomimes. For those of you who don't know what a Pantomime is, it's basically a stage show, with a lot of audience participation. For example, during the show 'Snow White' (I saw Snow White and the Seven Dwarves) said to the audience 'Now if you see anyone sneaking up on me, or doing anything strange you will let me know, won't you?' When someone sneaked up on her (like the huntsman) the audience yelled out 'look out Snow White!' It was very cheesy, and probably the most unusual thing I think I've ever seen in my life.
One would think that Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is a relatively straight forward story. Not so. To start with, there was an addition of a Court Jester, who was Snow White's best friend (and he secretly loved her. I know Snow White and the 'Prince' end up together, and you can't change the ending, but I was totally rooting for the Jester; he was cute and funny). Anyway so there was the Jester, and he was in the whole play. Wait let me back up. Before the play even began, Pirates of the Caribbean music was playing throughout the auditorium. I thought this rather odd, seeing as it was Snow White, but hey, when in Rome. The show started and we were introduced to the Jester and so on. At some stage the Prince was visiting the castle, looking for a bride. So the ugly step mother, the Queen who obviously wanted to marry the Prince, hides Snow White, and then breaks out in a rendition of Lady Gaga's Bad Romance. Seriously. I was like 'What the!'
The show continued and Snow White got herself lost in the forest, when suddenly the evil Queen sends her 'evil zombies' (yes zombies) after her to kill her. These 'zombies' just happen to be Michael Jackson's zombies from Thriller, so they break out 'Thriller' style and go after Snow White. While Snow White was in the middle of being attacked by the zombies, the dwarves (which by the way were actual dwarves) came to save the day-all to Mission Impossible music (You know how it goes). The dwarves were successful in beating the zombies (keeping to the Mission Impossible tune - picture it in your head), and took Snow White to safety at their cottage. Upon arrival at their cottage the show continued with it's unusual format and the dwarves invited Snow White to 'be their guest' Beauty and the Beast style (the seven dwarves broke out in the 'Be Our Guest' song from Beauty and the Beast). The dwarves had different names - there was Blusher, Sniffly, Gruff, Snoozy, Loopy, Grumbly and Cheeky.
After intermission, the part where the Queen makes the poison apple came up. While she is making the poison apple, the Queen broke out into song yet again, this time to that 'He had it coming' song from Chicago the Musical (in this case it's 'She has it coming') all the while, flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz are going mental on the stage. By this stage I was struggling to contain my giggles, having to laugh hysterically on the inside. In the end, of course, the evil Queen is defeated (not killed, just defeated cause good triumphs over evil and killing is evil, so they just forgave the Queen and all was well) and the Prince and Snow White were married. You even got to see the wedding too, where the Prince and Snow White break out in 'Oh What a Night', cause the wedding was obviously a great night. The best part had to be the finale as the show ended with the whole cast singing Glee's 'Don't Stop Believing'.
Did I mention that there was also a weird magician who randomly broke out in magic tricks? If it wasn't so bizarre it would have been really neat, cause he was pretty good and made things fly. He even made doves appear and set things on fire.
Even now, a few years on, I still don't quite know what to make of it however, it was a very memorable experience, and if you're ever in Manchester, you MUST see a pantomime.