Current star of WTM’s Christmas pantomime Beauty and The Beast, Katie Pritchard has released a music video for the festive anthem, Wouldn’t Be a Christmas Without Panto. This was created and filmed pre-Covid with the full cast of WTM’s 2019 production, Cinderella. Including castmates CBBC presenter, Naomi Wilkinson and member of international boyband A1, Mark Read. It’s now released to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
The story of how the song and video were created is a testament to the magic of this great Christmas tradition. Katie (Fairy Godmother), Naomi (Cinderella), Mark (Prince Charming) and the entire team behind WTM’s Cinderella all bonded throughout the production, with many backstage antics and shenanigans. It was on one such day they started to play around with the concept of a song all about their shared love of panto which became, as Katie puts it, ‘a fun idea that just got out of hand!’
The three developed the idea between shows, with vocals recorded on VoiceNote backstage, or at Naomi’s digs in Worthing. In fact at this point, all recordings were jokingly titled Christmas No 1 – aiming for the stars, as they should! It was a totally organic process that began to snowball once Mark took the recording from their GarageBand mix and mastered it in his at-home studio. Katie even added saxophone to the track in her dressing room at our beloved Pavilion Theatre!
Next came the creation of the music video which Naomi storyboarded around the theatre, and everyone in the production got involved. There are plenty of familiar faces in the video; not just the stars of the show but WTM’s Technical team through to the Front of House staff. The whole experience of putting on a pantomime is extraordinary; as Katie says, ‘there’s always a trick involved’ – high-wires, pyrotechnics, the incredible costumes – so they wanted to pull back the curtain just enough on some of these fantastical elements, but not ruin the magic of panto.
After the show’s run, the cast remained firm friends but went their separate ways without releasing the video, and that’s when Covid-19 took full effect, writing off any chance of a Christmas pantomime in 2020. Katie, Naomi and Mark reflected on how much they missed the process, and how important it was to so many children. They wanted to do something to recognise the loss to families all over the country, and their music video was the answer. Releasing it and raising funds for a fantastic organisation: Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH).
The dedicated teams at GOSH deliver world-class care and work around the clock to find the treatments to ensure seriously ill children have the best chance of getting home to their families. For those children whose treatment needs continue over the festive season, they go above and beyond to bring the magic of Christmas to the wards. There are decorations, Christmas music fills the corridors and every child wakes up to presents at the end of their beds. Father Christmas himself even pays a visit!
By buying and streaming Wouldn’t Be a Christmas Without Panto, you’ll help fund the hospital’s most urgent needs to help get seriously ill children one step closer to home. These include medical technology, pioneering research programmes and family support services that help children feel safe and calm during their treatment. Katie says the song itself is ‘just supposed to be fun and make you feel nice’, which everyone deserves to feel over the festive period.
Original song composed, produced & performed by Katie Pritchard, Mark Read & Naomi Wilkinson. Featuring the cast of Cinderella at the Worthing Pavillion Theatre. Watch the video for Wouldn’t Be a Christmas Without Panto: youtu.be/13TbEWRHNbs Proceeds from the sales of this track will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital: www.gosh.org/
See Katie Pritchard as Crêpe Suzette in Beauty and The Beast: The Pantomime at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing. Produced with Paul Holman Associates (PHA): wtm.uk/panto/