In December I learned about Panto, the British traditional Christmas theatre. What a fun family treat! It felt like a circus, with children waving glowsticks, yet the jokes onstage were geared towards adults.
Here are some of the common elements to Panto:
- good and bad fairies
- an actor in an animal costume
- the protagonist is a male character played by a woman in tight-fitting clothes
- there is always a female character played by a man
- slapstick scenes, such as the rubber ball fight in the Panto we saw
- audience participation, such as shouting "It's behind you!" Or "Yes it is!" And "No it t'isn't!"
The show we saw was called "Dick Whittington & His Cat," and it was complete with 14th century merchant scenes, dancing rats, a mouse puppet, pirates, a shipwreck, a Beatles song (sung in cat) and lessons in Welsh.
This Yank's head is still spinning!