And Christmas means panto time.
Of course, it often feels that it’s panto time all year round in the House of Keys, but news has reached this author of plans for a special production to be put on by MHKs during the forthcoming festive period: Peter Down The Pan.
It tells the tale of Peter, a politician who never grew up. He nurtures a magic lamp, inside of which he keeps a genie called Credibility.
One day, Tinkerer Bell turns him into a minister in Never Never Land, sometimes known as Tynwald.
Peter doesn’t find being a minister very easy. He tries rubbing the lamp to see if the genie could help, but, before he can get one of his backers to do anything about it, Credibility evaporates before his very eyes.
Very soon, Peter finds himself looking for his ministerial career.
‘It’s behind you,’ shouts an observer, very helpfully.
Meanwhile, in a parallel story, Cregeenerella goes to a very special ball. Unfortunately, when the time comes to leave, Cregeenerella’s coach turns into a pumpkin, because the deadline for signing a new contract has passed without the coach drivers agreeing to do so.
There is comic relief from the antics of the pantomime horse, played by Bill Henderson and John Houghton, as it goes round in circles and gets nowhere.
Elsewhere, Jack the lad Eddie uses up lots of government beans to buy shares in a film studio in a far off land and gets a nasty surprise when he attempts to get a seat at the giants’ table.
Sure Robert discovers a welfare beanstalk and dreams of creating a two-way escalator for people to climb atop it and find the promised land. He embarks on an extensive consultation exercise to see if people think his plan is a good one.
‘Oh no it isn’t,’ the audience cries when it finally gets to see the detail.
The first act ends with Tinkerer Bell promising things will get better after the interval/yet another consultation period.
Original plans to throw sweets into the audience are dropped after it is discovered the cast members have eaten them all.
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