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Why Did You Do That?

Rikki Wright is the founder of Zeus Entertainment (aka GTA Pantomime) and he grew up in South Yorkshire, England on a steady diet of at least two pantomimes per year (and bread with everything).  The Christmas season wasn't complete without a visit to Rotherham, Barnsley or Doncaster's Civic Theatres or to Sheffield's Lyceum or Crucible.  This was when his childhood dream of performing in a pantomime was borne.  Was it just the idea of being on stage and entertaining kids the way he had been entertained.  Was it the idea of looking out across an audience full of broadly beaming families.  Or was it just the idea of dressing up as a pantomime dame without the stigma of being out in public dressed in drag?  I guess time will tell.

After moving to Canada in 2002, he came to the sad realisation that his pantomime watching days were probably over and he could truly kiss goodbye to the idea of being Widow Twankee.  Scouring the theatre listings of the GTA, there was only one pantomime in town and after taking a trip with some visiting family to see Aladdin starring WWE wrestler Brett "The Hitman" Hart, he knew that he was unlikely to find anything that was as engaging or matched up the calibre of shows from his youth.  Rose tinted spectacles?  Possibly.  However, in 2009, Rikki, now married to a Canadian and with two young children of his own, took a trip back to the motherland.  His parents, still avid panto-goers (I think that's the proper term), were adamant that their Canadian grandkids could not grow up without seeing a pantomime at least once.  And so it was, an extended family trip to Doncaster Civic Theatre to see Cinderella starring a bunch of local celebrities and TV's very own Fifi from Fifi and the Flowertots.  The kids loved it and wanted to go back again the next day.  Rikki's panto-passion was reignited but being a short visit to England with lots of people to see, another pantomime trip wasn't possible but a promise was made that he would take his kids to see pantomime again.

Having now written and produced three pantomimes and starred in three others, Rikki is definitely at home in this genre of theatre.  Will you be joining him on stage, in the audience or as a business partner... or will we have to send the boys round to sort you out?

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