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TEACHING MATERIAL: The Origins and Traditions of the British Pantomime
In Denmark, we mostly associate Pantomime with the classic, wordless performances of Harlequin, Columbine and Pierrot in Tivoli. If you are invited to a Christmas Pantomime in England, do go but don't expect a similar experience. The English pantomime is a unique theatre genre that only really exists in the United Kingdom. It is extremely popular and every year theatres are completely sold out to an audience of all ages, backgrounds and tastes.
Traditionally, adults take their children to the "Panto" as a Christmas treat but often the adults have the most fun. The mad knockabout comedy of the pantomime, where people are hit but not hurt, where authority is constantly flouted and where fun is poked at everything from past to present, has had a great influence on the well known British "crazy" humour of for instance Monty Python's Flying Circus.
The Pantomime is as English as Fish 'n' Chips and pints of lukewarm beer - and Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without it.
Feel free to download the teaching material: The Origins and Traditions of the British Pantomime