Why is a panto so much fun?

Spotlight - - VOCABULARY -

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.

PRAC­TICE

Now try the fol­low­ing ex­er­cises to prac­tise talk­ing about pan­tomimes.

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