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The Panto!

If you have never been to a Panto, you are missing out on a wonderful English family tradition. I have now been to two pantos, and I LOVE them. A Panto is a play or theatrical performance that is put on during the Christmas season. It is loosely based on a well-known fairy tale or children’s story but certain elements are essential to making it a Panto. Pantos involve much participation from the audience, especially children, to repeat or recite certain phrases that fit into the dialogue of the performance. For instance, phrases such as, “He’s behind you!”, “Oh no you won’t!” are shouted out by the audience at specific times during the performance. The bad guy is hissed and booed at whenever he/she is on stage,

and the actors encourage and coach the audience for these reactions. Slapstick comedy and pies in the face are often present, and usually one male character is often in drag, playing a female role.

We were a bit early for a Panto, this year, but managed to find one in Harrogate, about an hour’s drive from where we stayed in Bielby. It was definitely worth the drive! We went to the matinee performance with about 300 excited, over-the-moon kids! I LOVED being in the audience with the kids. They were bouncing off their seats as the performance began. Enjoy the video clips of the kids’ excitement and participation, and a few photos of the beautiful Harrogate Theatre, performing Dick Whittington.

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