The Pantomimes introductory page
This site lets you download a number of my pantomimes. A traditional one "Beauty and the Beast," a traditional one with a different twist "Snow White of the South Seas," "Barzan" a jungle pantomime, "Hiawatha" a western pantomime and "St Minions" the first schoolgirl-story pantomime with dinosaurs. You can find them all on the "Pantomimes" tab at the top of the page. The rest of this page about pantomimes in general.
A bit about British pantomimes
British pantomime is a Christmas entertainment based on a fairy tale or some other traditional story where good defeats evil. It is supposedly for children and is usually an English child’s first experience of live theatre. It is full of traditional jokes and audience involvement. English pantomime is:
A Fairy Story ---- PLUS
1. Plus the Dame character. This character acts as a kind of earthy chorus much like the nurse in Romeo and Juliet, except of course that everything is much broader and we know that there will be a happy ending. The dame is absurdly overdressed and, to add a further sexual frisson, is traditionally played by a man in drag.
2. Plus a broad style that emphasises audience participation. There is much warning of the hero by shouting "He’s behind you" and so on
3. Plus music and spectacle. The whole thing is supported by song and dressed to look spectacular.
There are other traditions too but none that are central to making it work. The most noticeable of these other traditions is that the hero is often played by a woman in tights. I still cannot find a good dramatic justification for this. Maybe young kids are less frightened by a woman. Certainly men like seeing women’s legs.
Another tradition is that the witches and the fairies traditionally talk in verse (usually rhyming pentameters). This can work well as a differentiating device. Shakespeare always used it to divorce the high characters from the low – also it is fun to write and, if reasonably written, fun to act.
If you want to know more, try this rather good article in about.com.
About Nick's Pantomimes
I have been writing pantos for more than 30 years and have tried them out in a small village in the South of England. The ones here are ones that worked well. I take them seriously. The story must be good. It must be structured well. The songs must play a part in the story. I have written a tutorial on pantomime script writing you can see it here. Note that it is on a different website so it will not return you here when you have finished.