Each year, our Spanish class, along with the other adult classes, visits the local primary schools before Christmas to sing carols to them. However, a few years back we performed a pantomime for the children instead – which proved to be very popular. The idea of performing again has therefore stuck in the minds of our teachers.
Another pantomime would have been an obvious choice but would have been complicated – Snow White and the seven dwarfs took months of preparation.
So, our teachers have come up with something they describe as simpler for us to achieve; a story about Christmas entitled, “El Muñeco Invierno (literally the winter doll or snowman).
It is a crazy tale which involves various animals; a dog, a cat, a sheep and a cockerel who are intent on going to Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus but are having difficulty singing carols because they all have different voices. Along comes the devil who is actually made of ice. He tells the animals that he is a musician who can sing.
The devil proceeds to sprinkles dust over the animals which he says will help them sing in accord. However, the magic dust actually changes all their voices making matters worse. He sprinkles dust over the snowman to help him sing and dance - the snowman is of course going nowhere.
Not pleased that the animals are still intent on going to Bethlehem, the devil threatens to sprinkle them all with more magic dust that will turn them into statues. The moon tells the devil he is bad.
The devil then tells the audience that he is going to have a sleep because the sun and he are not friends – remember he is made of ice so the sun will melt him.
Thankfully at this point a shepherd arrives who helps the animals by sprinkling yet more magic dust over them to restore their voices. He goes on to tell the snowman that he was made by the children from frozen water and that his mother had washed the baby Jesus and provided drink for him. Now contented, the animals set off for Bethlehem each offering their own particular contribution to the trip.
Now to the casting. Some of the ladies from the other adult class had already volunteered for various parts but that left gaps – principally Diablo who was originally called Helado (yes ice cream but remember he is made of ice). Following an embarrassing silence where no one seemed prepared to step up to the plate, I put my hand up.
I may come to regret this because Diablo is a main part and there are quite a lot of lines to learn. If they were in English, I could ad lib but in Spanish I stand no chance. The bit where I have to got to sleep and snore loudly I can handle because I have practised that part a lot!
Pamela, who is wiser than me, volunteered to be a cat - miau miau.