Panto’s a family affair

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Mucking in: From left, Blaise, Zoe and Sarah Barham

One family at least has made a huge commitment to Remarkable Theatre’s ‘Panto in the Park’ in the Queenstown Gardens this weekend.

Sarah and Blaise Barham, who run Queenstown’s Southern Lakes English College, and their 12-year-old daughter Zoe are playing multiple roles in eight performances of Oh No It Isn’t!

Blaise plays King Egbert, a dame called Tequila and the back end of the panto cow.

“That’s my biggest part,” he quips.

Sarah plays the front end of the cow and Snow White, while Zoe plays a prince, Young Number 1 and Puss in Boots.

Preparing to go on stage, the cow comprises a prima donna at the front end and a down-to-earth character who realises he’s at the end of his career, Blaise says.

Playing the cow, who finishes with a two-minute dance, will be hot work if the weather’s warm, Sarah adds.

The couple, who were in Much Ado About Nothing for Remarkable Theatre’s predecessor, Queenstown Shakespeare, joined the company’s committee last year.

Sarah, who’s also production manager for this weekend’s show, says it’s quite a commitment.

“But running the school is quite stressful, so it’s really nice to do something silly and crazy, and have a good laugh.”

She says Oh No It’s Not! – described as a quirky take on pantomimes – “is going to be really fun for the kids, but there’s jokes there for the adults, too”.

“Even the cast who have seen it are still really laughing at it.”

Zoe says it’s an interesting experience for her as she’s 10 years younger than the next youngest cast member.

The show – comprising sketches at different spots around the Gardens duck pond – runs at 6 and 8pm today and at 2, 4 and 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Entry’s by donation.

If rains intervenes, the show will relocate to the Queenstown Memorial Centre.

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