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Are You Going to a Pantomime or Musical this Christmas Season?

Every year, in the months leading up to Christmas, the Musicians’ Union (MU) receives reports of pantomimes and musicals with recorded music in the place of musicians performing live. 

On the whole, pantomimes and musicals provide a significant and dependable income for MU members. However, we are aware of a handful of repeat offenders who ditch the talent and creativity of live musicians for recorded music. 

Value for Money 

It is not always made clear when productions - including one dubbed “The World’s Biggest Panto” - do not feature live bands. 

“A live band is an integral part of the audience expectation and enjoyment” - Harold

“Live music is the life blood of all musicals. Consumers are being ripped off in productions with no live band” - Stephen 

Live theatre should be exactly that - live

We believe pantomime audiences expect a live band as part of the experience.

“Nothing can replace the joy and excitement of hearing and seeing music performed live on a visit to the theatre. Christmas is often the only time many children will have such an opportunity to experience this, and it can be hugely inspiring for them. By replacing live musicians in Christmas shows it truly is depriving audiences of the real magic of theatre” - Gemma

Part of Panto 

It is essential in pantomime to have the flexibility live music allows, from providing timely sound effects to accounting for improvised humour. Plus it allows for audience participation and actors to really engage with people throughout the show. It's not just the actors audiences like to see and appreciate. 

“I am convinced that audiences love seeing musicians at productions, every night at our show many people come and stick their head over the pit to talk and congratulate us. Parents love for their children to see the live music and often chat to the band after the production, because they are often placed in the auditorium and are still around at the end of the production” - Ruth

Are you going to a show this Christmas season? 

Give live music a shout-out! 

Let us know if you enjoyed the show - share your appreciation across social media using the hashtag #KeepMusicLive. 

Be sure to mention us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Published: 20/12/2017
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