Emily Hill speaks to Christy White-Spunner, the man behind this year’s Kate Kennedy pantomime…
Emily Hill: What is your role in this year’s production?
Christy White-Spunner: I’m the writer and director of this year’s pantomime.
EH: How long has this been a tradition, and why do think it has become less popular in recent years?
CWS: The Pantomime began being put on in the mid seventies for children from the local Fife schools. Far more emphasis was put on it back then and students were actually invited into the club for their theatrical talent solely to contribute to the production. I don’t think the concept of the pantomime has become any less popular in recent years but the KKC pantomime itself has slightly fallen to the wayside. I put this down to a combination of things but venue is certainly a significant factor. For instance, “Rapunzel in St Andrews”, last year’s pantomime, was put on for children in the Cosmos Centre and, as a result, students were not as aware of it as they might have been for productions in the past.
EH: How are you trying to make more of an impact this year?
CWS: We’re putting it on in Venue 1 to hopefully draw a bigger and more student-based crowd than in recent years. We have an original script and score with a live band made up of club members. I have also put a lot of effort into its publicity. The promo video that we have been sending round Facebook is designed to, initially, give people an idea of what to expect but also make them curious as to what the story holds and so will hopefully get people interested.
EH: Tell us a little about this year’s show.
CWS: The Pantomime is a take on Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five. “Five Discover Each Other” is set after the golden days of the five’s fame but they are all still twelve and have gone from solving local mysteries to taking down drug barons, corrupt politicians and criminal masterminds. The villain in this particular story is one Vendito Manus, an arms dealer. Not only will The Famous Five have to overcome Manus (who has taken Enid Blyton’s typewriter hostage and thus can dictate their actions) but the struggles within themselves ,having had something short of teenage issues building up inside them since 1942.
EH: What is your favorite part, what should we be looking forward to most?
CWS: I like the musical numbers a lot. The band have been fantastic and put together some nice tunes so we have five or six real anthems together with some tasty choreography. I think the part I’d look out for is Anne’s angry dance, performed by a supple Edward Battle.
EH: Have there been any funny rehearsal incidents?
CWS: Walking around dressed as the five when we were filming the video was pretty interesting. We got some odd looks but also an overwhelming sense that people trusted us to solve local mysteries which is apt. We tried to get some footage of Timmy in a full dog costume socializing with the real dogs on East Sands but, for some reason, they didn’t trust him up close.
EH: What are you hoping to achieve from this event?
CWS: The pantomime serves to achieve several things. Most importantly, it raises money for charity but it also helps spread awareness of the club to first years who may wish to apply next semester. Up until now, they will have only experienced Opening Ball which obviously does not exhibit all aspects of the club. We aim that the pantomime also shows that club members do not take themselves too seriously and are able to make fun of themselves on stage in front of their peers.
Five Discover Each Other goes up in Venue 1 on Thursday 6th December at 9pm