For Your Attention (should you ever be insane enough to produce a pantomime where there are more wings and furry and scaly feet than truly necessary, or desirable).
The Rules of Pantomime:
1) No gold stars allowed under any circumstance to be attached to any doors in the manner of 'Look at me! I am the STAR of the show!' Especially not gold stars so massive that they prevent the downstairs loo being opened by the Lady of the Manor when she is inside, causing a minor panic attack.
2) G-string leotards are inappropriate costume wear. As are henkinis,comedy codpieces, overpadding of cleavages, platform heels with inbuilt flashing lights that will blind the first seven rows of the audience, (ditto spangly top hats) overly jaunty combs, overly bouffant tails (furry and feathery) and unexpected smoke bombs hidden in petticoats.
3) Gossipy chit-chat about ghostly beings, especially Phantomimes, is strictly come dancing, I mean, strictly prohibited. Like Robin Hood, the Greek Gods and Piers Morgan, the Phantomime is a myth, d'you hear? A myth. Like a moth. With a 'why?'
4) There are to be NO last night parties BEFORE the last night. I saw you all sneaking off to the 'Ballcock and Plunger' last night, don't you think I didn't, and I certainly heard you all coming back at 3 a.m singing, 'My old man said follow the conga, let's have a banana!'
5) Remember that pantomime is NOT Shakespeare. Nor it is Pinter, Ayckborne, Behn or Russell. Stick within the parameters of the genre, please, and back off talking about 'Larry Olivier' and 'Kenny Branagh' like they are old mates and not just some name you remember from some play you were dragged to see by a cultured relative.
6) Kindly refrain from making ad hoc alterations to your costumes. All requests for costume adaptations must be passed to the Director for approval and discussed with the Wardrobe Manager especially if they involve extra fabric in the form of ruffles, frills, godets and gussets. We have a budget which, ironically is smaller than a budgie.
7) All cast members are expected to stick to the rehearsal schedule and arrive promptly at the times stated. There are NO excuses OR exemptions. Medical absences MUST be accompanied by a doctor's certificate. The certificate recently left in the Director's in-tray signed by Dr F. Rankenstein will not be accepted.
8) Flirtatious dalliances in the wings, the orchestra pit and the gods are to be discouraged. Always remember that the Queen could visit at any time so behave accordingly. Also remember the upholstery and carpets have recently been steam cleaned at great personal cost to the management.
9) All current tabs behind the theatre bar are to be cleared with cold hard cash. No further credit will be allowed until this happens. And if you must order in pungent takeaways, please give the air a courtesy sweep with the 'Lavender Bush Fragrant Freshener Spray' afterwards. And whoever has borrowed the 'Lavender Buch Fragrant Freshener Spray' please return in immediately to the boot room where it is in urgent need.
10) Please keep your dressing rooms in a manner befitting the tidiness of your own homes. Actually, don't. Keep them better. I am not your picker-upper, your house-keeper, nor (heaven forbid) your mother. Anything found cluttering any of the floors after tomorrow's rehearsal will go straight into binbags and straight down the tip, okay?
I think that about covers it.
You have been warned.