THIS is the time of year we forget our criticism of traditional stories and visit pantos and Christmas shows.
It would be easy to dismiss such tales as silly fantasy if it were not for the fact they teach us so much about real life. And about social and moral values.
Take, for example, Cinderella. Young girl, possibly adopted by a rich family and certainly well down the domestic pecking order, is a victim of modern slavery.
Owing to a kind benefactor (real rather than magical) she gets a modern makeover and tickets for the current top social occasion. She meets a wealthy young prince but runs away from him initially.
He posts on social media for her and, thanks to a lost shoe, finds her and makes her his bride. They live happily ever after in Sloane Square, London, where she’s looked after by a full staff of servants. It’s not quite like that in the story but, in 2017, that’s what it would be and the lesson is still the same: work hard and eventually you get your rewards, and justice.
A Christmas Carol shows that you can change and it can make your life, and that of everyone around you, better. Jack and the Beanstalk reveals life has a way of turning around in your favour, give or take the odd 18-foot giant. And Snow White proves that kindness, and having an apple a day, can give you a happy ending.
The key to enjoying Christmas shows is to go with an open mind, accept the entertainment for what it is and pick up early on the moral of the story.
Christmas itself is such a surreal time compared to the rest of the year that it’s easy to suspend reality at the theatre. Just enjoy.