After a turbulent year this year, many have looked towards Pantomime performances to become a saviour for theatres, a spirit lifter for the communities and a new source of income for some other organisations.
Community Objectives CIC launched their first pantomime in 2019 and received an overwhelming amount of positivity for the original performance of The Witches Of Woz; an original piece focused on the community of Latchford. Performed by local Warrington Actors, in local grassroot buildings, Community Objectives CIC were received with big open arms as they announced their new original piece; Handsome and Dettol.
Commissioned by Culture Warrington, Community Objectives CIC created their very first 2-person panto devised with Covid safety at the forefront of both the devising and performance elements. Using beautifully jazzled PPE, disinfectant, and ton of hand sanitizer, not forgetting the odd pair of giant knickers, Jake and Jessie from Community Objectives CIC have been able to develop a 30 minute performance with all the gags, laughter and awful dame singing you could wish for.
Handsome and Dettol has been performed throughout December to schools across the Warrington Borough. Performing 54 shows in just December alone, Jessie (Community Objectives director) has been joined by local actor Liam Darbyshire to lift spirits this christmas season, oh yes they did. The pantomime has received an overwhelming reception from schools stating that "the whole school has been talking about it, and it's days after you visited us". The show has even been extended into January 2021. CIC Director Jessie stated
"It has been a great opportunity to join the schools on this journey as we head into the new normal. It has provided much needed access to arts in education and with panto being the first access to theatre that some children have, it made it even more special that it happened this year, albeit in a different manner. The response has been phenomenal and being commissioned by Culture Warrington has been a privilege, who wouldn't want to make theatre for their hometown, working with a great team".
The best bits don't stop there!
Thank you to an additional partner, Windmill Hill Big Local, we have been able to create a quick turnaround film of the pantomime to share with you viewers at home. So even if you aren't of school age, you still get to experience it through the screens in your own home.
"This is first time we have adapted something for film. Performing Pantomime live is the essence of what it is all about, but performing to... Well you'll see how we portray audience if you watch it. It's interesting as a creative and a performer to throw yourself at the challenges that Covid is presenting to us. This year has been tough for any arts based organisation and we welcome adaptive behaviours moving forward as it will be key for our survival and growth. We really do hope that this recording bring some cheer this season for everyone in big bubbles or alone.
From Monday 21st December, Warrington and Windmill Hill Big Local residents will be able to stream the 30 minute pantomime for free onto their own devices. If you have screen casting/ chromecast/ or Apple TV, why not pop it onto your big screen and have a family night in.
As we draw the year to a close, we wish everybody a very merry christmas this year filled with love, togetherness and a good ol' cracker joke. We wish you all the best health possible and look very much forward to the adventures Community Objectives CIC will have in 2021. We can't wait for you to join us on the journey.