22 March 2009

Video Luv: Pantomime

I've been kind of crazy for pantomime lately. My sis, who lives in London, UK, gets to see lots of really good panto, making me jealous.

Pantomime is not to be confused with mime performances, as in white-face and trying to get out of the box. Pantomime is an old musical-comedy theatre style dating back to Greece and Rome.

There's traditional themes like gender-swapped roles (men playing women and girls playing boys), the pantomime horse (two-person costume), and mixing of traditional songs with new lyrics. Think community dinner theatre on LSD.

Celebrities, especially grand old actors, love to do guest appearances in London pantos. It's a great way to ham it up and have a ball with the traditions of old theatre.

Here's a fun pantomime society that can give you a good idea of what a panto is like.

P.S., the pantomime dame in the photo is Sir Ian McKellen from a panto in 2004. Go Gandalf!

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