I've really enjoyed hosting this bingo and I've learned loads about the both Christmas traditions with which we are familiar and those which were new to me.
For completeness, I've included the two numbers which didn't get pulled.
Many congratulations to salome on winning her first BINGO. I'm looking forward to her game.
The last two numbers are9. Christmas Tree Festival
Christmas Tree Festivals are a relatively new idea, whereby a large number of Christmas Trees are erected in church and are decorated by different groups of people such as the brownies, rainbows, the bell ringers, the church choir, the local school and various other individuals. This year, our Christmas tree festival at St. Peter's Harborne
ran from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th November. The festival is generally held before the start of Advent, as Advent is a time where the church is not decorated and is a time of contemplation and preparation for Christmas. Our family decorated a tree this year and our theme was music. We made paper chains made out of music and hung lots of musical instrument ornaments on the tree and I had stitched some musically themed ornaments. Then, like a pillock, I forgot to take a photo of the tree!! At least we have the ornaments on our own tree at home now!
Here’s a picture of the festival two years ago. 21. Pantomime
Pantomime (informally panto) is a type of musical comedy stage production, designed for family entertainment. It was developed in England and is still performed here, generally during the Christmas and New Year season and, to a lesser extent, in other English-speaking countries. Modern pantomime includes songs, slapstick comedy and dancing, employs gender-crossing actors, and combines topical humour with a story loosely based on a well-known fairy tale. It is a participatory form of theatre, in which the audience is expected to sing along with certain parts of the music and shout out phrases to the performers.
Traditionally performed at Christmas, with family audiences, British pantomime continues as a popular form of theatre, incorporating song, dance, buffoonery, slapstick, cross-dressing, in-jokes, topical references, audience participation, and mild sexual innuendo.
Pantomime story lines and scripts usually make no direct reference to Christmas, and are almost always based on traditional children's stories, particularly the fairy tales of Charles Perrault, Joseph Jacobs, Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm Brothers. Classic pantomime stories include Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Mother Goose, Dick Whittington and His Cat, Beauty and the Beast and Robinson Crusoe. 20th-century additions include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz. Traditional stories that are less frequently played today include Babes in the Wood (combined with elements of Robin Hood), Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Sinbad, St. George and the Dragon, and Bluebeard. Prior to about 1870, many other stories were made into pantomime.
While the familiarity of the audience with the original story is generally assumed, plot lines are almost always 'adapted' for comic or satirical effect, it being common for characters and situations from other stories to be interpolated into the plot. For instance "panto" versions of Aladdin may include elements from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves or other Arabian Nights tales; while Jack and the Beanstalk might include references to nursery rhymes and other children's stories involving characters called "Jack", such as Jack and Jill. Certain familiar scenes tend to recur, regardless of plot relevance, and highly unlikely resolution of the plot is common. Straight retellings of the original stories are rare.
The form has a number of conventions, some of which have changed or weakened a little over the years, and by no means all of which are obligatory. Some of these conventions were once common to other genres of popular theatre such as melodrama.
• The leading male juvenile character (the principal boy) is traditionally played by a young woman, usually in tight-fitting male garments (such as breeches) that make her female charms evident. Her romantic partner is the principal girl, a female ingenue.
• An older woman (the pantomime dame – often the hero's mother) is usually played by a man in drag.
• Risqué double entendre, often wringing innuendo out of perfectly innocent phrases. This is, in theory, over the heads of the children in the audience and is for the entertainment of the adults.
• Audience participation, including calls of "He's behind you!" (or "Look behind you!"), and "Oh, yes it is!" and "Oh, no it isn't!" The audience is always encouraged to hiss the villain and "awwwww" the poor victims, such as the rejected dame, who is usually enamoured with the prince.
• Music may be original but is more likely to combine well-known tunes with re-written lyrics. At least one "audience participation" song is traditional: one half of the audience may be challenged to sing "their" chorus louder than the other half. Children in the audience may even be invited on stage to sing along with members of the cast.
• The animal, played by an actor in "animal skin" or animal costume. It is often a pantomime horse or cow, played by two actors in a single costume, one as the head and front legs, the other as the body and back legs.
• The good fairy enters from stage right (from the audience's point of view this is on the left) and the villain enters from stage left (right from the point of view of the audience). This convention goes back to the medieval mystery plays, where the right side of the stage symbolised Heaven and the left side symbolised Hell.
• A slapstick comedy routine may be performed, often a decorating or baking scene, with humour based on throwing messy substances. Until the 20th century, British pantomimes often concluded with a harlequinade, a free-standing entertainment of slapstick. Nowadays the slapstick is more or less incorporated into the main body of the show.
• In the 19th century, until the 1880s, pantomimes typically included a transformation scene in which a Fairy Queen magically transformed the pantomime characters into the characters of the harlequinade, who then performed the harlequinade.
• The Chorus, who can be considered extras on-stage, and often appear in multiple scenes (but as different characters) and who perform a variety of songs and dances throughout the show. Due to their multiple roles they may have as much stage-time as the lead characters themselves.
• At some point during the performance, characters including the Dame and the comic will sit on a bench and sing a cheerful song to forget their fears. The thing they fear appears behind them, but at first the characters ignore the audience's warnings of danger. The characters soon circle the bench, followed by the ghost, as the audience cries "It's behind you!" One by one, the characters see the ghost and run off, until at last the Dame and the ghost come face to face, whereupon the ghost, frightened by the visage of the Dame, runs away. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!