Why is a panto so much fun?
A panto has a lot of physical comedy, or slapstick: people fall over, fall off ladders, get a foot stuck in a bucket and throw custard pies (paper plates full of shaving foam) at each other. There’s always a chaotic chase scene. There are silly jokes for the kids, and a lot of sexual innuendo and double entendre for the adults, as well as topical jokes and parodies of popular songs. The audience is expected to participate, too — to boo the baddies, to cheer the goodies and to shout out warnings (“He’s behind you!”) and other stock phrases (“Oh, yes, it is!” and “Oh, no, it isn’t!”).
At the end, there’s always a singalong, with the audience divided into two teams for a singing battle. The audience is rewarded with sweets thrown from the stage — and squirts of water, too.
Now try the following exercises to practise talking about pantomimes.