Mittwoch, 13. Dezember 2006
Here is a Christmas story. In Britain, Christmas is the time of year for pantomimes. The pantomime, or “panto”, is a form of theatrical entertainment – it is a sort of play, with music, and often with dancing as well. It is uniquely British – there is nothing quite like it in other countries. Most pantomimes are based on traditional stories – some are fairy stories found all over Europe, such as Cinderella or the Sleeping Beauty. A few are purely English in origin, such as Dick Whittington, the story of a poor boy who rises to become the Lord Mayor of London. Pantomime plots are strong and simple. There are heroes (goodies) such as Cinderella or Aladdin, who are beautiful, young and noble. There are black-hearted villains (baddies) like the wicked witch or the evil pirate chief. There are also several comic parts such as the ugly sisters in Cinderella. It is common for the main goodie to be played by a woman even if the character is male; and for several of the women’s parts to be played by men. The script is full of jokes, most of them dreadful, and some of them could not be repeated on a family podcast show such as this one. But the best bit is that the audience are expected to join in. We cheer the goodie. We boo and hiss whenever the baddie appears. We shout advice to the actors – “Look out. He’s behind you!” We join in the songs and laugh at the jokes, even the bad ones. The whole family – children, parents, grand-parents – have a wonderful evening.
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