Can the traditional musical comedy stage production of the pantomime survive in the age of television?

To appeal to audiences accustomed to watching 'Batman' and 'The Man From Uncle' on television the Gaiety and Olympia theatres have chosen to produce non-traditional forms of pantomime.

Impresario Fred O'Donovan is producer of 'Robin Hood' in the Gaiety starring Maureen Potter, Milo O'Shea, Hal Roche, Eugene Lambert, Austin Gaffney and Patricia Cahill. It is a new book and is not traditional in the way of the British pantomimes, with the principal boy slapping his thighs and marrying another girl.

A traditional pantomime was too difficult to produce as

It is the most difficult art-form, it's a combination of plays, musicals, broad comedy, satire it's everything.

Pantomime is the greatest financial risk in theatre and producer Fred O'Donovan does not expect to make a profit until the show has been running for six weeks. However he does not believe the pantomime is dead as an entertainment-form, a sentiment echoed by Maureen Potter.

It's the liveliest corpse I've ever come across.

She believes while television may have made children more worldly, even the most sophisticated ones still love pantomime.

You couldn't do without the panto. Things to do at Christmas: See Santy, see the lights, see your granny.

Jack Cruise in his production 'Ring Out The Bells' at The Olympia has incorporated television into this revue, which appeals to the sensibilities of a modern audiences. He now parodies ‘The Riordans’ and ‘The Late Late Show’ to get laughs.

Actor Cecil Nash first performed in pantomime in 1936 and is a traditionalist a heart.

I can sincerely say that I think that the old pantomimes, in my estimation, with the principal lady as the principal boy, are the best and will always ring true.

Comedian Hal Roach is also a fan of the old form of pantomime.

I love to see the kids hitting the villain and cheering the hero. 

Similarly actor Vernon Heydon likes to see good triumph over evil.

The adults become children at heart during pantomime. I think it's just as successful now as it always was.

This episode of ‘Newsbeat’ was broadcast on 23 January 1968. The reporter is Cathal O'Shannon.