WHEN DID PANTO BE­GIN?

First News - - SPECIAL REPORT -

Panto was in­vented in the 1800s when the pop­u­lar tour­ing the­atre troupes from Europe – com­me­dia dell’arte – were hang­ing out with the pop­u­lar West End va­ri­ety per­form­ers. They thought: “We could tell com­me­dia sto­ries – Cin­derella, Sleep­ing Beauty, etc – with va­ri­ety rou­tines in be­tween the scenes.” It was like tak­ing the best ac­tors from Net­flix or the Royal Shake­speare Com­pany (RSC), and mix­ing them with the best co­me­di­ans from the TV. Pan­tomime pokes fun at topi­cal is­sues, in­clud­ing po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, cur­rent fash­ions, mu­sic and even big brands. And panto takes its silli­ness very se­ri­ously!

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