Pantomime Experience

On Monday night, instead of having class in the flat like normal, we were able to go on a little field trip. Our field trip took us to a pantomime at a theater called ‘The Playhouse’ downtown. It was a very interesting and new experience for me. Incase you’ve never heard of a pantomime before here’s a little bit of information about what they are. (I certainly had not heard of them before going.) A pantomime is a musical-comedy theatrical production that is commonly found in the United Kingdom around Christmas time. These performances are mostly for children, but there is plenty of adult humor strewn in. Each pantomime picks one of the really well known children stories. For example, we saw Cinderella, but there is also Aladdin, Babe in the Woods and etc. Each performance also has a few cases on cross-dressing that really add to the humor of the pantomime. There is always the dame, or in the case of Cinderella, the dames. The dames in Cinderella were men that were dressed up as the ugly stepsisters and an additional ugly aunt. In the performance the dames were definitely the best part. Whenever they were on stage I was laughing so hard. They were constantly cracking jokes and wearing funny clothing. At one point one of the dames even wore a version of the hat that Princess Beatrice wore to the royal wedding this year. It was hilarious! In pantomimes it is very common for the pantomime to make fun of all kinds of things that are going on and a lot of references are made that the specific audience easily picks up on. In the performance jokes were cracked about Beeston and Arnold, two sections of Nottingham. Another form of cross-dressing in pantomimes is in the form of the ‘principal boy.’ In a pantomime the ‘principal boy’ is a girl dressed up as the main male role, but in a very non-masculine, scandalous way. The prince is the ‘principal boy’ in Cinderella. In the performance that we went to the prince was dressed in high-heeled boots, a tiny mini-skirt, had a ponytail and make-up on. She wasn’t fooling anyone, but I guess that’s the way that ‘principal boys’ are supposed to be. In the performance that we attended the prince’s manservant was also a principal boy. It was pretty strange. I had to continuously remind myself that they were supposedly men in the performance. A cool thing about the performance was that it used a lot of current music in it. For example, when Cinderella and the prince were finally able to be together, Cinderella’s secret admirer, Buttons, broke out singing “Someone like you” by Adele. Haha. It definitely put some humor in. Also at one point in the performance the ugly stepsisters after saying they had just been working out, broke into singing “I’m sexy and I know it” by LMFAO. We all burst out laughing! They even did the ‘wiggle wiggle wiggle’ in a way that was much more appropriate for children! Haha. Easy to say that I REALLY enjoyed attending a British pantomime! It was an experience I’m sure that I’ll never forget! Cheers ladies and gents

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