A night at the panto? I think not….

I’ve never told you about my Tuesday mornings, have I?  Every other Tuesday, I’m in Ripon with Sheila and her Creative Writing Group.  We have such fun.  Today, for instance, having looked at how many genres of writing there are (dystopian novels, anybody? Memoirs? Epic verse?) we each wrote three sentences – just three – introducing the story of Cinderella.  And then we did it again.  And again.

I can’t take you to the panto (I wouldn’t anyway.  Not a fan).  But I can offer you my three versions of Cinderella, which neither Perrault nor the Brothers Grimm would recognise.  Take your pick.

Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World, Christmas 2007: Benjamin D Esham.

If you visit the town of Fantasienburg, be sure to visit the new museum dedicated to Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters.  These two widely misunderstood figures from German mediaeval history have recently been reappraised.  Evidence uncovered in previously unpublished documents found at the University of Würzfurt reveals a surprising story……..


The court of the House of Grimm announced yesterday the death of King Charming at the age of 96.  He died peacefully in his sleep.  His reign was characterised by a rejection of the flamboyance shown by his father, in favour of the simple values espoused by his consort, Queen Cinderella……

Arthur Rackham’s 1919 illustration to CS Evan’s edition of ‘Cinderella’.

or ….

She seemed a slatternly young woman.  Her hair was greasy, her clothes stained and worn, and her hands, with chipped dirty nails, were covered in calluses.  The equerry regarded her with disdain and disapproval ….. 

A fairly wholesome Cinderella, dating from 1865.

I might take one of these stories forward over Christmas.  Which one?

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

27 thoughts on “A night at the panto? I think not….”

  1. Brilliant. It sounds like you have fun but I can’t agree about panto! I love it, but only live. Especially with the grand children and my German daughter-in-law who is hard wired to do what she’s told. So if she’s told to shout, for example “he’s behind you”, that’s exactly what she does. It’s Aladdin in Tunbridge Wells this year followed by dinner out for 9 of us and I for one am really looking forward to it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the problem is I was a wretchedly shy child, and spend most of the performance under the seat in fear of being picked to do something. I can cope with them better now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reinventing the misunderstood ‘ugly’ sisters could be fun! I also didn’t like pantos as a child. Acting far too hammy. The gender swapping thing only reinforced stereotypes. How interesting to subvert all of that!

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  3. I could see any one of these snippets becoming a story fun to read (maybe not so much fun to write!) It’s a really cool exercise–have you been assigned to take one of them further?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, we pantomime refuseniks are becoming quite a thing! And thanks …. but having had my arm twisted to do number one, I’m beginning to get a few ideas. A few, mind you, not many.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t mind a pantomime now and again, but it has to be a professional one – none of your amateurs for me! I never thought I would take to them, as I was a shy child who cringed under the seats too. But since middle age has taken me over and I’m now in my 60th year I can shout out in public with gusto! My younger daughter does the cringing now and not just because she is afraid she might be picked to go on stage (though at the age of 20 I am sure she might be just a little too old) but in embarrassment at having a mother who joins in all the responses.
    I rather like the 3rd Cinderella and your descriptive prose.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Any of the three would be worth following through but I’m another to differ on pantomime. This year may be the first in twenty years when we miss the York Theatre Royal panto!


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