Five Panto Traditions

  • Panto Dame

The leading boy character is always played by a young woman and conversely a male actor always plays the pantomime dame, often the hero’s mother.

  • Double Etendre

Ostensibly aimed at children, parts of the dialogue involve lots of double entendre that appeals to adults, but goes above kids’ heads.

  • Audience

Audience participation is a given at panto with boos, hisses and cheering very much the order of the day, often provoked by the actors themselves.

  • Panto Horse

The pantomime horse is a feature of some shows and is played by two actors, one with the head and the other with the rear legs, often causing hilarity by going the wrong way and getting confused.

  • Participation

In the interval, or during the show, there is usually a chance for some of the younger members of the audience to get on stage as part of a competition or another entertaining activity.


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