Panto?

So what's that all about?!

 

Panto – or pantomime to give it its full name – is a peculiarly quirky British form of family entertainment. Traditionally put on around the Holiday season/New Year, pantos are largely based on any number of fairy tales. The most popular are Cinderella, Aladdin, Jack & the Beanstalk and Peter Pan.

 

The principle audience for any panto is families with children and involves lots of audience participation – prompted shouting, community singing, inviting audience on to stage etc. But there is plenty for the parents and grandparents with skits, topical jokes and plenty of thigh slapping!

 

Every panto production is different with great scope for improvisation and ad lib. However, there are a number of traditions common to all shows. Principle amongst these are: 

 

  • Lots and lots of audience participation
  • Pantomime Dame main comic character/s played by strapping male/s
  • Principle Boy, usually played by a young woman and looking mighty fine!
  • Nasty villain or villains 
  • The audiences’ friend and chief “cheerleader’
  • Popular or well-known “pop” songs sometimes with changed words
  • Community audience singing & dancing
  • Comedy duo, slapstick routines, throwing candy and lots, lots more…

In 2009 we introduced panto to New England with our production of Cinderella. We followed that in 2010 with Jack & the Beanstalk, The Little Mermaid in 2012 and Little Red Robin Hood, a panto mash-up in 2013. 2014 saw the first "American Panto" with Sleeping Beauty: Lost in Time. And coming up in 2015...Rapunzel, A Mangled American Mash-up!