‘Tis the XXXXXX to be XXXXX

British actors Richard Lyntton and your author

British actors Richard Lyntton and your author

I’ve just done a very agreeable gig with fellow Brit, Richard Lyntton. Chatting aimiably, made me nostalgic …

At this time of year my thoughts naturally turn to a theatrical form which is immensely popular in my native England but doesn’t seem to work either in the land of my extended family, Australia, nor to have caught on in my adopted homeland, the USA. It’s a Victorian invention really, along with trifle and the commercialization of Christmas. Having said that, there are traditions in the form that can be traced to the medieval miracle plays, and to the later broad style of Commedia D’ell Arte. I refer, of course, to pantomime.

I once played a broker’s man by the name of ‘Snachit’, one of the double act, Snachit & Grabbit, first cousins to the law firm, Sue’em, Grabbit ‘n Runne also related to practicing attorneys at law, Woppit, Upham ‘n Gasp.

The Dame (female character) was played by the late, great John Moffatt (Male actor as tradition requires), who was also the author. A man of consummate technique, it was a privilege to watch him turn a line like:

John Moffatt as Hercule Poirot

John Moffatt as Hercule Poirot

Dame: (Horrified) Sell?! (Appalled) Our cow?! (Heartbroken on the verge of tears) Miranda??? … (Suddenly turning avaricious) How much d’you think we’d get for her?

Panto, as British readers will know, turns on a contra-sexual universe where it seems only the Fairy Queen and the the Demon King keep their given genders. Dames and Ugly Sisters are always played by men, Principal Boys (e.g.; Jack in Jack & the Beanstalk) always by dazzlingly attractive young women.

For non-British readers who may be confused, I recommend a year’s subscription to Private Eye, the British equivalent of the American, Onion newspaper. Private Eye explains much in British life that is puzzling.

But I digress.

I started out to tell you that this year Santa brought me the chance to play a telling cameo in a new (spin-off) TV series. The series has been announced but details are fairly hush hush. To such an extent that I never actually got to read the full script of the episode, and therefore had only the sketchiest idea of my character – who he was and what he had for breakfast – and before you ask, yes, I admit, sometimes it’s like that onstage too.

Ryan Eggold, Me, Famke Janssen, Richard Lyntton

Ryan Eggold, Me, Famke Janssen, Richard Lyntton

Fortunately the stars of the show were extremely generous and hospitable and were able to quickly clear up any confusion that I had, actually reversing my understanding of the character, the scene and the show in a few brisk sentences.

These details aside, I am able to report as follows:

I played, xxxxxxxx the man xxxxxxxxxxxx in the xxxxxxxx where xxxxxx and xxx come to  xxxxx  the xxx

The story xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx my character, xxxxxxxxx in a tryst with, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Then, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx at the climax, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx just when xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx a helicopter xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and then, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx finally revealing xxxxxxxxxx

Great story, right? – Oh! I forgot to mention …

Just when xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx at which point xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to the amazement of xxxxxxxxxx

Well I’m sorry if that’s spoilt the episode for you. Just pretend you never read this blog.

 

Me as xxxxxx in xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx

Me as xxxxxx in xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx

 

And as you see from this photo, my character looks pretty shifty.

But I don’t think it gives anything away, do you?

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and a xxxxxxxxxxxxx !

13 thoughts on “‘Tis the XXXXXX to be XXXXX

  1. Kevin Dean Hackett

    Merde’ and Happy XXXXXX

    On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 2:27 PM, McPhillamyActorBlog wrote:

    > Colin McPhillamy posted: ” I’ve just done a very agreeable gig with fellow > Brit, Richard Lyntton. Chatting aimiably, made me nostalgic … At this > time of year my thoughts naturally turn to a theatrical form which is > immensely popular in my native England but doesn’t seem to” >

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth Dimon

    As always, charming and funny. Bravo on the gig!! Closing “Me and My Girl” today at Maltz Jupiter and here comes Christmas! Happy Christmas to you and Trish. Love, Beth

    Reply
  3. Bonnie Monte

    Colin,

    I rarely have the time to reply to your blog posts, but I do read most of them! Congrats on your mysterious TV gig, and I loved reading about the Brits’ love of Pantos – I am, admittedly, one of the many Americans who does not appreciate them! Most of all, just wanted to wish you a merry holiday and a great new year (hopefully, D.T. won’t destroy us all in 2017!) and I hope we can get you back next season; we miss you!

    Happy holidays to you and yours!

    Xx, Bon

    *From:* McPhillamyActorBlog [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] *Sent:* Friday, December 16, 2016 2:28 PM *To:* bmonte@shakespearenj.org *Subject:* [New post] ‘Tis the XXXXXX to be XXXXX

    Colin McPhillamy posted: ” I’ve just done a very agreeable gig with fellow Brit, Richard Lyntton. Chatting aimiably, made me nostalgic … At this time of year my thoughts naturally turn to a theatrical form which is immensely popular in my native England but doesn’t seem to”

    Reply
  4. Wild Thyme Productions

    Hi Colin,

    I returned from a month in Australia yesterday; my first visit.

    Had hoped to catch Peter, but he was only available for a short period one evening shortly after I arrived in Sydney before he flew to the States. Whilst based in Sydney, we also visited Melbourne and then Perth. Such a great country. I had a ball!

    So now sending you belated wishes for a very happy, healthy and successful New Year 2017 (and loved your mystery blog about the TV show!)

    Joan x

    Reply

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