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How many weddings?

November 15, 2022

I’ve never understood marriage. Probably due to being the only child of a single mother. I clearly understood that one parent could be more than enough. But more than that, I’ve just never understood why two people who love one another and want to be together feel the need to “sanctify” their relationship with some ceremony. Not to mention the cost of dresses and receptions which could have gone towards a fantastic trip somewhere.

So it’s strange that I’ve ended up directing pantos where there’s always a wedding at the end. And it’s even odder that I’ve actually added weddings to the last two shows.

In Ali Baba, yes the hero and heroine are heading for the alter, but so too were Mustafa and Fatima. This second pairing off might have actually been in the original script, I don’t remember, but the revelation at the end that Mr Blue and Miss Scarlett, who’ve bickered throughout, are actually madly in love with one another was definitely added by me.

And this year. Yes, obviously Cinderella and the prince are to marry at the end. That was in the script. But wait! The baron, having been granted an annulment by the prince, is also going to marry the fairy godmother! That certainly wasn’t in the original version. Nor was Evie, the fairy character I invented and inserted so poor old Buttons wouldn’t end up alone. Not one wedding, but three!

And the finale song? In Will Shakespeare the Panto, Robin Bailes had used “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and that worked just fine. But I really didn’t like the song he’d included for the finale of Robin Hood and His Merry Men. After wracking my brain for an alternative I finally landed on “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” which several people who’d been in previous pantos couldn’t believe we’d never used before. I also didn’t like the song he’d included in The Return of Robin Hood and replaced that with Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend” (making sure Marian, who had the best singing voice, was the one hitting all the hard notes). Ali Baba? Don’t remember what Robin used, but again I didn’t like it, so replaced it with “All You Need Is Love”. 

And this year? Again, didn’t like the suggested song, so I had to cast my mind about. Where did it land? Of all places it landed on “Going to the Chapel”. Well, it is an easy song to sing. It’ll be a crowd pleaser, I suspect, but, good grief, from a cynic like me? Very strange indeed.

Something I posted on Facebook a while ago popped up as a memory the other day.

This pretty much sums up my attitude towards love and marriage.

In fairness, our Cinderella is a damn sight feistier than Disney’s – especially in my adapted version in which she flat out refuses to marry him if she has to call him Charming. (After demanding to know what his middle names are, she settles on Jack.) 

But, still. Not the original one, but three couples heading to the chapel of love? What the fuck?

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