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The panto's snowy folk are under threat
Global warming - now the panto!
By Laura Joint
The magical snowy lands of Iceworld are threatened by global warming, in a topical festive panto being staged in Devon.
Once upon a time, before the world got warmer, there were Christmas pantos with stories about Snow White, Cinderella and Mother Goose.
But then, all of a sudden, the weather changed...and a brand new way of doing pantos was born.
Pinhoe Pantomime Society's festive offering this year is The Ice Castle. It's the tale of a magical snowy land which is in danger of melting away because of warmer weather.
The baddies - boo hiss!
Can disaster be averted, when the Ice Castle threatens to melt?
The adventure centres on a trio who are commissioned by the King of Iceworld to solve the problem - but they encounter some evil baddies on the way, including chief nasty man, Dr Morron Moore.
And there are the greedy guzzleguts, who have no intention of giving up their lifestyles of big consumers.
The Ice Castle has all the traditional panto ingredients - a dame, comedy duo, slapstick, and principal boy and girl.
And it features the usual battle of good versus evil.
Writer and director Martyn Goss
The panto has been written by society member Martyn Goss, who also directs the play: "The challenge of this fable is in its topicality," he said.
"Classical pantomimes generally include a strong ethical dimension, such as the vanity of Mother Goose or the exploitation of Cinderella - most pantos have a serious edge.
"In this case it is the consequences of excessive greed on the planet's future. Climate change is a very serious matter affecting the world and we have a responsibility to leave a better legacy for future generations."
But there's still all the usual silly nonsense you'd expect from a panto: "The Ice Castle is very definitely a panto and not a morality play," said Martyn.
"It has funny characters and hopefully funny jokes which will have people laughing and joining in."
The panto - the first Martyn has ever written - is being staged at America Hall, Pinhoe, from 9-12 January 2008.
Rehearsals are well under way. Angela Roberts, of Pinhoe Pantomime Society, said: "Our first panto 28 years ago was written for us, and it was about Pinhoe.
"But this is the first time we've done a topical panto. It's daft and it's family entertainment, and there will be lots of audience participation.
"The cast is really impressed by it."
The Ice Castle