The Dame remains the same

Following up on last year’s successful run with Scrooge, MADC have returned to the MFCC in Ta’ Qali with The Princess and the Pea, the Christmas panto starting on December 22 and running until January 8.

MADC’s “trump card” Alan Montanaro (left) returns in The Princess and the Pea.
MADC’s “trump card” Alan Montanaro (left) returns in The Princess and the Pea.

While the source material may be far from traditional in panto terms, director Nanette Brimmer is unfazed by the fact that The Princess and the Pea is not only the "shortest" of Hand Christian Andersen's tales, but also, seemingly, one of the least wacky - a no-no for any panto, surely?

"The Princess and the Pea may not be nearly as iconic as Aladdin, but, then again, how many times can the iconic Aladdin, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and other better-known fairy tales be rehashed, revised and rewritten?" Brimmer said, while adding that the short source material allowed the MADC team to "think outside the box" and come up with some truly zany ideas.

"We've kept the basis of the original story where the Prince is seeking a true princess to marry, but we've added many twists and turns. For example, there was no Villain in the original, so we added a 'Baddie' whom the kids will enjoy booing. And since in pantomime good always triumphs over evil, there's also a Fairy Godmother to ensure this happens.

"And then, there's one particular 'princess' who has already taken the Test of the Pea no fewer than 68 times...!"

The one feather in MADC's bow - or "trump card", in Brimmer's words - will always be Alan Montanaro's Dame... and Brimmer is confident that her salacious antics will not disappoint this year either. Although panto is traditionally billed as 'family entertainment', this does not mean that it has to be 'safe'... on the contrary, it means that adults need to have their fun to, and this is something the Dame caters for.

"Audiences can expect the same saucy humour this time round and rest assured, the Dame has some salacious surprises up her sleeve... wait a moment... that's not quite right since not many of her costumes this year have sleeves - they don't have many long skirts either... in fact, they've taken up very little fabric!"

Tickets are at €25, €21, €16 and €10. Online booking is open on, or by email on [email protected]. Ticket hotline: 79 796232, 99 996232.