Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Christmas Panto

So there's this thing in Britain come Christmastime. The "panto", or pantomime. These are absurdly silly plays/musicals based on very classic tales with elements of audience participation. The actors purposefully and explicitly talk to the audience, encouraging them to boo and cheer and yadda yadda. Oftentimes, the action will stop for the actors to call out greetings to various audience members. Candy will get thrown at the kids. Etc.

Farce is the agenda of the day. For the adults, sexual innuendo and satirical political commentary abound. For the young'uns...we find any excuse possible to sing "Let It Go" or whatever the trending thing of the day is.

Cue "Aladdin" (, with an absurd villain's "Mwahahahahahahahaha", a fabulous (by which I mean beyond stereotypically flaming) genie, a drag queen playing Aladdin's widowed mum, and "Defying Gravity" instead of "A Whole New World".

We laughed. We cried. We rolled our eyes.

My favourite part was definitely the evil vizier and Aladdin in a rendition of "We Can Do It" from "The Producers" before going lamp hunting.

These pantos are legitimately a massive part of Christmas in this country. They're an economy in and of themselves.

There are moments when this little island is still a complete and total mystery to me. And I love it.

No comments:

Post a Comment