The Christmas pantomime is one of those British pub traditions that never really gained ground over here–our loss, but that means that when someone decides to reinvent it here, it’s genuinely fresh. Last year Sally Timms directed the first annual Hideout panto, which had a pirate theme and featured Janet Bean as a mermaid queen, Kelly Hogan as a (male) pirate captain, Jon Langford as a (female) tavern owner–oh yeah, and barman Tim Tuten as a blabbermouth fishmonger. (Cast members decided after one show to bum-rush another bar in full pirate regalia–the Mutiny, of course.)

This year, which Timms has declared will be the last, the protagonist Codfish Girl (played by Callie Roach, who last year was winsome in her whiskers as Catfish Girl) will have “adventures with villanous Vikings and her search for the magical Allen wrench lost long ago by the Nordic Goddess Ikea.” Other characters include Sister Hammerstrom (Langford), the Viking warlord Hogan the Horrible (guess who) and big Mike Bulington as the Abominable Snow-Woman. Oh yeah, and there’s Friar Tut, the mouthy monk. I’m told that Daleks will figure in somewhere too. 

The show runs Thursday through Saturday at the Hideout, with two shows each night (7 PM kids welcome; 10 PM 21+) except for Friday, when there’s only an early show. Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 kids under 16. Seating is strictly limited to 60 each night, so advance tickets (available at the bar or through TicketWeb via the Hideout Web site) are strongly recommended. So is dressing in costume–Viking/Dalek/Pirate, what have you. And believe me, you are NOT too cool for that.