Do You Speak Pirate? Then This "Panto" is for You

Maplewood-based company is casting a "supremely silly," classically British show.


JIM: How did you lose that leg, Mr Pegleg?

PETE (in a very pirate-y voice): I didn't used to have no legs at all, lad! Then I went to the leg shop, where they had a special offer. "Buy one leg, get one half-off!"

If the above snippet makes you guffaw, keep reading.

Maplewood-based Deadgood LLC will hold auditions today for "Arrr! A Very British Panto," a show that will run Jan. 4-6, 2013. Auditions will take place at 11 Euclid Avenue in Maplewood from 7 -8 p.m. 

So, what's a panto?

Gareth Jones, who wrote the show along with director Ridley McIntyre, explained that pantos are a beloved form of UK vaudeville-style musical comedy theater. Jones said the performance will be a "supremely silly family show in the great British panto tradition, and will be huge fun."

Deadgood is still looking to cast the following roles:

  • Widow Ladd: This is the "dame". In British panto, the hero's mother is always played by a man in ridiculously over-the-top costumes. 
  • Brian Beardy: The leader of the pirates. Loud, lively, likeable, but a villain at heart. 
  • Ben Cannon: A pirate who was marooned some while ago, and has invisible "friends". 
  • Pirates: Both speaking and non-speaking (apart from an occasional "Arrr!").

Auditioners of any age and gender are welcome, as is anyone interested in helping with backstage work. 

Jones -- a comic who performs under the name of "Jonesey" -- said the idea was born after some friends saw him do a stand-up routine at the Gotham Club wherein he made sport of his "Britishness." 

"Someone bemoaned the fact that 'you don't get a good old panto in the USA,'" said Jones. "We decided on the spot that we would do one."

He explained that many pantos are based on fairy tales, but the group feared an American audience might be expecting something "Disneylike." They decided to write an original show, and the Pirate Panto was born.

For more information, visit the Facebook page or call 973 761 0547.


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