Diary - Panto's dark side

18th December 2009 at 00:00

While schools across the country are busy co-ordinating their wise men and donkeys for the annual nativity play, a Coventry primary school has decided to get "down with the kids" and revamp Hansel and Gretel for the end of year panto.

Teachers at Keresley Newland Primary School have turned the two main characters into violent, hoody-wearing brats who end up being arrested for criminal damage.

Meanwhile, the witch who in the original fairytale lures the children into danger is a defenceless elderly woman who is devastated when her house is wrecked by the duo.

The teachers who wrote the script say that the new version highlights issues of bullying and anti-social behaviour.

However, it has had a mixed reception among parents, some of whom are threatening to boycott the show. "It's an absolute disgrace," said one parent. "It's a travesty that a jolly panto story has become a bleak portrayal."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today