Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > IDS News & Features > Making and Keeping Memories > The Chambers of Secrets: IDS Panto 2019

The Chambers of Secrets: IDS Panto 2019

Review of the 2019 IDS Panto (including downloadable sing-a-long booklet) and (NEW MARCH 2020) watch the video!

Image by Mahmudul Hoque Moni: IDS Panto 2019 crew & cast
Image by Mahmudul Hoque Moni: IDS Panto 2019 crew & cast

Background

The pantomime genre is a strange one, especially if you weren’t brought up in Britain. They are loud, fun and enjoyable musical comedy theatre productions are a show like no other.

Pantomime literally means ‘all kinds of mime’ and its generally agreed that it is based on the early masques (or Commedia dell Arte) of the Elizabethan and Stewart days. In the 14th century masques were musical mimes or spoken dramas performed in grand houses, although by the 17th century they were no more than an excuse for a good party.

How old is the IDS panto tradition? A matter of contention for Mick Moore, who has thoroughly researched the records of IDS closely to discover that design of rooms 120/121 was deliberately the same size as a classic Pantomime stage and that civil servants from around the world would have their learning significantly improved by the great British tradition of Panto. Richard Jolly maintains that the first IDS panto happened in 1973 (editor: have these facts been checked?).  Whatever the history we certainly continue to have essentials, for it to be panto:
  • audience participation is essential (oh yes it is!),
  • as is some slapstick comedy,
  • a guaranteed happy ending where love must conquer all and everyone lives happily ever after
  • And it’s not an IDS panto without a joke about clogged bathrooms, fish and chips on Friday, and at least one reference to Robert Chambers or Richard Jolly.

Brief outline of the plot and themes

This year’s IDS Panto was loosely based on JK Rowling’s Harry Potter’s Chamber of Secrets – Chambers of Secrets (there’s your Robert reference before we even started!).

The pre-panto advertising this year set a new standard with posters from the “IDS Students for Social Responsibility” appearing around the IDS building weeks before you could even purchase a ticket (still a bargain at just £2).

Image: Panto 2019 adverts

This year’s Panto was the usual IDS mix of capitalist greed, climate change, bedazzle and Bollywood. We are quickly introduced to the characters of Greta Hermione (the hero), Prince Harry Chambers (who disappears in the middle of scene 1), Ronny Chambers (looking for his father), and Katy Hatekins all heading to the Institute of Hogwash to start their studies. The IDS sorting hat makes sure they are all in MA Development Studies, and not in any of the specialised courses (“they’re just modules of MADev anyway”, according Linda McDonagall). Download the sing-along booklet and discover future hits like "the thick plottens" and "scramble for Hogwash".


Image by Mahmudul Hoque Monilogo of the Institute of Hogwash (IOH)
.
Ness Filch (and her pet seagull Mr. Paulo) discover oil at IDS, and Melissa Dumbledore hatches a plan to sell the oil to fund IDS research and pensions. Overheard by Greta and Bog Chambers, Greta sets out to rally everyone to be against oil being used, and Bog Chambers thinks about the wonderful retirement he will be able to have with all that lovely oil money sloshing around. Meanwhile, Ronny is looking for their father – following the familiar smell of apples, Katy is sneaking around on the trail of a Daily Mail worthy story, and Melissa continues to turn frowns upside down with a flick of her wand and considerable amount of bedazzle.

Image by Mahmudul Hoque MoniMelissa Dumbledore (bedazzle!)
A meeting of world leaders – the scramble for IDS – including the EU, Commonwealth and the c-Evil society (Trump, Boris, and Putin), descends into a (comedy slapstick) fist fight. Obama’s speech doesn’t save the world, but, it turns out, Bollywood dancing does help.
After the discovery that IDS never had any oil to start with, we get our happily ever after with the reuniting of Ronny’s parents – Bog and Sangita – and the uniting of Bog and Ronny. Although Greta continues to despair at the lack of interest in the climate emergency.
Another marvellous year for the great IDS Pantomime tradition our congratulations to everyone involved whether on stage or backstage.

Image by Mahmudul Hoque MoniPutin & Trump

Summing Up

As in previous years, Panto has been filmed for posterity and the online version is now ready. There were some technical difficulties with recording, so there's a chunk missing - specifically mid Scene1-mid Scene 2 (no Sorting Hat and no Happy Days song)
 
 

I for one cannot wait to see what our talented students and staff come up with for next year’s panto. Until then console yourselves with the brilliance of previous years by watching them online now.
See videos and/or photos from other years:
200020012004200720082010201220132014201520162017, 2018

See the history of the IDS Pantomime from 1973-2015

Email us if you have any photos of your own to share at alumni@ids.ac.uk

Similar stories

Image: National Park Service- field of yellow wildflowers

Yellow Monday

IDS Yellow Monday (YM) is a weekly internal newsletter for current IDS Staff and Students. YM includes news, member travel and new publications and IDS Alumni can get exclusive acc… More...

IDS Board of Trustees. Credit: G.Edwards/IDS
IDS Chair of Trustees search

Can you help find the new Chair of the Board of Trustees at IDS? More...

International Organisations Resources from LSE

A list of resources from LSE that may be useful in your career planning More...

Image: Women working in their rice paddy fields in Odisha, India | Trocaire | Wikimedia | CC-BY 2.0
ELDIS

Sharing the best in global development research for policy and practice. More...

CC0 Public Domain
Know Your Network: Md Mamunur Rahman (MA20)

Read about Md Mamanur Rahman's recollections of IDS and his career since graduating from IDS with an MA in Gender & Deve… More...

Most read

Gendering pandemics: identifying the unequal impacts of COVID-19

Gender & Dev students Isabelle Tickel, Madhurima Sanyal & Rebeca Moreno Sandoval tell us how women are unduly affected by health pandemics and ask for… More...

IDS Alumni Response to COVID-19 (Part 2)

Find out how IDS alumni around the world have adjusted to new ways of working and living during the Covid-19 pandemic including their contributions to… More...

IDS Alumni Response to COVID-19

Find out how IDS alumni around the world have adjusted to new ways of working and living during the Covid-19 pandemic including their contributions to… More...

Submit your blog

 
This website is powered by
ToucanTech