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Why should I go to a Christmas panto?

Fri 02 Dec 2016

It’s intentionally silly and over-the-top.  All the characters wear outrageous costumes and the men play female roles and the women play male roles, Regardless of the story there is always a hero and a villain, both of whom a clumsy, and the hero always falls in love.

Audience participation is vital and the famous line in all pantos is "he's behind you" when the audience tries to warn the hero that the villain is about to pounce on him.  To which the hero replies "no he isn't".

The tradition of comedy theatre at this time of year goes back to the Victorian times. It was similar to modern day pantomime with an emphasis on comedy of the ‘slap-stick’ kind.  But its origins were in political satire that poked fun at the establishment, often using characters that had many similarities with well-known and disliked nobles, or even the monarchy. This is less the case now with pantomime taking modern stories and well-known tales and putting a humorous spin on them. 

Panto is over-the-top, crass, melodramatic and so funny your stomach will hurt from laughing.

Stage production: Even from the beginning of panto in the 1800s special effects in some form have been used and are still a feature today. Most big panto productions will have a rotating stage that can have three or four scenes as well trap doors and impressive light shows.

Familiar stories such as Aladdin, Little Red Riding Hood and of course Cinderella are the type of popular stories produced for the Christmas panto season each year. Expect singing… lots of singing, songs are important to panto so expect easily eight or nine songs per performance. And not just normal songs but cheesy songs and Christmas carols adapted to the story.

This is a wonderful British tradition and if you get the chance do go to a panto DO!  Participate with the singing, “booing" and all the cheesy catch-phrases.

Every city and town in the UK has a panto performance and you're garanteed to have a fun night.

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