New panto award seeks judges
26 September 2021
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti
The UK Pantomime Association is looking for judges from the across England to help assess shows for its inaugural UK Pantomime Awards.
Judges will receive free tickets for the shows they volunteer to assess and will meet with their fellow judges in February and then again at the Pantomime Awards Ceremony in April.
A free online training session will be given and, whilst no specific experience is required, judges are likely to have a professional pantomime performance or production credit, a journalism and / or reviewing background, or simply be seasoned panto-goers with a critical eye.
There are two hundred shows to see and assess and selected volunteers will watch up to eight pantomimes in their area across the season (November to January) and input their show report via an online portal.
Judges are particularly needed to cover Anglia, London and surrounding, Midlands, North East, North West, South Coast, South East and Yorkshire.
The UK Pantomime Association is a new organisation chaired by BTG's own Panto Editor, Simon Sladen, who said, “we’re looking forward to getting back into theatres and recruiting a new team of judges to help us celebrate and champion excellence across Pantoland.
"After a challenging 2020 season, the industry is gearing up and raring to go for 2021, ready to share that much needed panto magic with audiences across the UK. Pantomime is a vital part of the UK’s cultural heritage and theatrical landscape, which we will honour in a new-look awards ceremony in early 2021.”
The UK Pantomime Association aspires to recruit a diverse group of volunteer judges and welcomes applications from all backgrounds and particularly from disabled and neurodiverse individuals, members of the LGBTQI+ community, and people from the global majority, in particular those with African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian or South East Asian heritage, as these voices are currently underrepresented in their team.
The role of panto judge is voluntary and no payment will be made.
The application process involves completing a short questionnaire and a piece of writing having watched an extract of a streamed show.
The closing date for applications is 4 October.