insideKENT Magazine insideKENT October 2018 Issue 79 - Page 33

ARTS+ENTERTAINMENT PANTOMIME SEASON IS UPON US! “It’s behind you!” COULD THIS BE THE MOST FAMOUS CALL IN ALL OF THEATRE? IT CERTAINLY IS WHEN THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES START TO GET UNDERWAY BECAUSE, OF COURSE, IT’S THE ROUSING CRY OF A PANTOMIME AUDIENCE. THIS PHRASE, ALONG WITH MANY OTHER TRADITIONS INCLUDING ‘THE GHOST SONG’, THE DAME, THE SILLY SHENANIGANS OF THE PANTOMIME HORSE, THE POOR, LOVELORN BEST FRIEND, THE BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS AND THE HANDSOME PRINCE, IS SOMETHING WE HAVE ALL GROWN UP WITH, AND CHRISTMAS WITHOUT A GOOD OLD PANTO – IDEALLY WITH A RAUCOUS SINGALONG AT THE END – IS JUST NOT CHRISTMAS AT ALL. The seasonal pantomime outing is something that kids remember. It either signals the start of Christmas, or heralds its end depending on when your annual jaunt is booked for. The first experience of theatre for many, pantomime is as immersive and as crazy as it gets and it can foster a lifelong love of the stage. Most adults still clearly remember the feeling of being one of the lucky little ones to be called up onto the stage during the panto as a young child, no matter what show it was they were seeing or where, so it’s our recommendation that you don’t pass up the opportunity to gift such a gorgeous memory to your young children or grandchildren. of decency. No wonder it was so popular then. And no wonder it’s still so popular today. The pantomime came to Britain in the early 1600s, so it has certainly been around for a good long time, but of course, as with everything Christmassy, it was the Victorians who really made it into what we know and love today. A pantomime in Victorian times was an outlet for escapism; somewhere that people could go to hear saucy jokes and see risqué scenes in complete and utter safety. It was safe and permitted…but just at the edge Today the annual family trip to the pantomime is just as much something to look forward to as it always was – and it is the ideal way to introduce young children to the theatre, giving them a magical experience that they will never forget. In Kent we have plenty of them to choose from, each one just as sparkly and delightfully silly as the next. Take your pick! 33