Sunday night (31/1/16) I was given the option to go to see “Alice in Pantoland” at the Brighton Dome. I would like to thank Brendan and Jess for taking us.
Before it started I was quite worried because the last time I had seen an adult panto, I had to deal with transphobic abuse from one of the performers. Since it was a different show, I thought it would be fine though.
Never in my life have I ever said this, and I don’t think I ever will again. If you get rid of the racist, transphobic, conservative wanker writer who did the show, you might have a decent show. In just under 2 hours, this one person spouted so many immigration jokes, outdated sexist comments and of course the standard “these girls who think they are boys, you know the type walking down st James street, trying to act like a man”.
For a brief moment I thought I was back in the 1950s, because that’s where his fucking value system obviously was.
I would like to point out that the rest of the cast seemed pretty good, and I’m fully aware that the show was in memoriam for someone who had clearly spent many years of their life making people happy with adult panto. I just feel that in order to cater to a queer market, you must be progressive. Outdated racism, the “empress of China” who was both white English AND had knitting needles in her hair (Come on, I know its panto but really?) is not fucking needed. Its once again proving that providing there is ONE person of colour in a play, you can say what ever the fuck you want because being “gay” is the most oppressed fucking minority there is.
*note – that WAS sarcasm*
Now I would have just left this to it, buried it deep inside, only to flip out at them later on in the year when they decide to yet again advertise the next years performance on Brighton Both ways. But I couldn’t. Mainly because I felt that things should be addressed.
1) Racism/sexism/transphobia SHOULD NOT be part of our traditional value system. Saying its OK to do shows like this is just inappropriate, especially in the queer/lgbt community. You wouldn’t want the minstrels still going round, because that was also tradition. It was also in our history that we took over countries, murdered millions of innocent people, and brutally tortured thousands of homosexual men. But we don’t continue to do so because ITS FUCKING WRONG.
2) The sponsors were almost a who’s who list of places most queer people wouldn’t dare to step foot into now following this. If you have Poison Ivy advertising your performance, you have fucked up somewhere. Although, its not Queer friendly, its transphobic and some dodgy back door deals have happened, so actually its pretty fucking apt.
3) I’m pretty sure the next venue you host the performance might want to see the script first. The venue is trans friendly and against racism and sexism.
4) Pride/Rainbow fund! Thank you so much for being part of it. Yes you are one of the charities getting money from this. Let’s please give you a standing ovation for finally showing us where some of the money that desperate queer organisations need, is coming from. It’s being donated by people who are so offensive and backwards. Rather than actually getting involved in the real community situations, political upheavals and issues our empoverished queer community needs help in, you decide to be a part of this.
(PS – Next time, make sure you schedule in a time to moan about how I complain on social media about your ethics, rather then doing it on work time. Its fucking embarrassing and this is a PERSONAL blog, not affiliated with anyone I work with!)
Now I’m not saying that we need to get rid of panto (both regular or adult). Fuck that, I actually enjoy it. I’m saying that we need to work out what is and isn’t acceptable in our own community. If we spend millions of pounds helping cis gay men finally get the right to marry, we CANNOT just think that the fight is over. As an community we need to stop trans women of colour being murdered. We need to stop the spousal veto, and in fact most of the bullshit that goes with the GRC and the politics that goes with the gender clinics.
We need to stop women being objectified, and we need to stop thinking that immigration is not our problem, it is and we need to help.
Comedy comes in many forms, and I feel that the best comedy we can get is laughing at the people who oppress us. Not the people who are struggling to survive on a day to day basis.
Maybe next year you can write a better script and actually help out a struggling community, rather then the people who need it the least.