Why pantomime appeals to the whole family Essay
Why pantomime appeals to the whole family
Modern pantomimes are predominately aimed at children and are usually based on well known children’s fairy tails such as Aladdin, Puss in boots, Little red riding hood, Cinderella and Snow white and the seven dwarfs. Although many adults do admit they enjoy accompanying their children to the pantomime and therefore pantomime can appeal to all the family for different reasons.
Characters usually seen in Pantomime would include a hero, a wicked queen, the dame of which would be played by a male member of the cast dressed in drag the dames entrances would also be more extravagant and exaggerated than any other character, the audiences friend for example Buttons in Cinderella who always expects a response from the audience on appearance and finally the fool which is a character who is stupid and cant do anything right. As you can tell from the set up of characters Pantomime is most definitely a night of comedy.
Pantomime is also made up of plenty of audience participation. The audience participation is required in several parts of pantomime such as pointing out mischievous or bad characters behind the principal characters by shouting out lines such as ‘Its behind you! ‘ of course the baddy will always be gone by the time the character looks around meaning the process be repeated over and over again. The characters will always speak out to the audience several times during the performance expecting a response.
In the middle of the Pantomime the characters may stop and announce birthdays within the audience making the audience sing happy birthday and also bringing members of the audience on to the stage, they may also show song lyrics making the audience sing in two halves to form a competition. Also included will be jokes or comedy of which are aimed at the adults in the audience which the children may not understand but adults will find funny.
All of the above may be considered as family entertainment because of the whole of the audience having to participate, children and adults are included in the song competitions adults may be required to sing separately to the children. Songs included in the performance are usually from different eras meaning different aged people from the audience can relate to them. The nature of the set is very colourful and exaggerated to represent the fairy tail and catch the audience’s attention.
Most Pantomimes shown at places such as the Marlowe in Canterbury and the Hazlitt theatre in Maidstone will include famous actors in their Pantomime to attract an audience; this is also more likely to attract older viewers. Pantomime is made for all the family because although it is specifically aimed at children, parents, brothers and sisters and nans and grandads are always going to get dragged along too the secret is they actually enjoy it , I mean everyone enjoys a fairytale don’t they? We’ve all seen and heard of fairytales when we were younger Pantomime just adds a bit of comedy and enjoyment to them.
Overall I think Pantomime is something for the whole family to look forward to every year at Christmas its entertaining and a fun performance to participate in, if you’re a parent its great to see your children having fun and enjoying the performance as well as entertainment and comedy for yourself. Every Pantomime is different even if it is the same fairytale you can guarantee it won’t be exactly the same as the one you saw the year before. Children can buy flashing lights etc to wave in the audience, I think Pantomime offers something for everyone of the family and is a great success within the UK for this.