Pantomimes and gender

20 Jan

The final rehearsal proper was yesterday and the dress rehearsal for the pantomime is tomorrow evening. For the second year in a row I have been cast as the dame. That is not exactly true, it was more like I was told which role I was getting. I do understand why. In a small community it is not necessarily easy to get someone to become a temporary transvestite and make a complete prat of themselves. The worst thing for me is shaving off my beard. The facial fuzz / chin pubes have been a part of my face for almost twenty years, and has become a part of my self-image. I just shaved off the beard and I don’t recognise myself in the mirror. Now, I ought to make clear that playing the dame is in no way a piece of female impersonation. The idea is to have a man dressed as a completely unconvincing woman. Even a young child should be able to recognise the character on the stage as a man dressed as a woman. Female impersonators, like Danny la Rue made terrible dames. It is the nature of pantomime that the cross-dressing characters should never be convincing. Sometimes the ‘Leading Boy’ part is played by a young woman, but should have great legs and an impressive bust, in order to look good in tights and jerkin. I don’t think I have seen a panto in the past decade where the leading boy was a girl, but it used to be common. Anyhow, here is me as the dame in last year’s panto. I shall take some photos at the dress rehearsal and post them up before the first performance.


Do you like the false eyelashes?


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