History – Christmas and Pantomime

We always have questions about Christmas and, of course, Pantomime:

Do your children know the history of the Christmas Tree?

There are many different stories, but by far the most popular one is the St. Boniface story, and even this one is open to several different endings.

It comes from Germany where to convince a group of pagans in Germany, who refused to believe his teachings, St. Boniface cut down a huge Oak Tree.  The pagans believed the oak, was sacred to their gods and that no harm could come to their tree. When …..

The Story of Snow White

We all know the fairy tale Snow White, one that has been made into a pantomime. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is one of the most famous fairy tales in the world.

As with all pantomimes, it is a story of good triumphing over evil.

It has it all:

  • An innocent young beauty
  • A vain, cruel, and jealous stepmother
  • The innocent girl is to be killed
  • She isn’t!
  • She hides in………

The Beginning of Pantomime

Let me tell you about the beginning of Pantomime.

Pantomime today is a form of comic British theatre that evolved from many different sources.

In Rome they had mime shows created by a single dancer, known as Pantomimus, which according to the records was performed in 467 BC by a dancer called Telestes.

Would you believe it, Roman Emperor Nero was so jealous of this pantomime performer that he had him put to death for ….

Where did Aladdin come from?

Originally it comes from the ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’, but to be different the Pantomime Aladdin is based China.

Of course, it wasn’t really a pantomime as we know it, however, over time it slowly grew to become the pantomime we know when:

The baddy Abanazar joined in 1813.

In 1861 his mum became ‘Widow Twankey’, who was obviously to be played by a man.

The slap-stick comedy scene ……

St Boniface converts Pagans

In Germany 1300 years ago, St Boniface was trying to convince a group of pagans to become Christians.  He had to do something to convince them.

He decided to publicly cut down a huge Oak Tree, called the Donar Oak. With a couple of axe strokes the mighty oak toppled over!  It worked, the pagans saw it as a miracle showing the power of God and they ….

Santa saves 3 girls from slavery

Santa Claus saves three sisters from Slavery.   Yes, the first Santa did just that and that is why today we hang up stockings at Christmas!  He was the Christian Bishop of Myra, also known as Nicholas of Bari.  He was alive sometime around 300BC. 

Legend tells us that the girl’s father was so poor that he didn’t have the dowry that tradition required for their marriages. The father therefore decided ….

Where did the Circus
come from?

This is disputed, people say that circus started in the 18th century, but it wasn’t as they had what they called circus in Ancient Rome.

Nevertheless, it appears that modern circus really started in 18th century when Philip Astley, a cavalry officer, when on 4th April 1768, at Lambeth in London, he created an amphitheatre where he put on a display of horses ……… 

The True Richard Whittington

Yes, he was a real person, but he didn’t become thrice Lord Mayor of London, he was Lord Mayor four times! 

Born within the City of London, was the third son of Sir William Whittington, a wealthy landowner from Pauntley in Gloucestershire, in the Forest of Dean. 

As third son he didn’t inherit anything, he had to make his own way in ……..

‘Oh no it isn’t,
oh yes it is’

Pantomime grew out of Music Hall and by the late 19th and early 20th centuries became the home of pantomime.

Pantomime allowed the great comedy performers to thrive in an informal and unrestricted world. The great male comedy actors put on a lurid dress, a wig and some very bad make-up, instantly getting huge laughs. This was the arrival of the Dame, now a …….

Who was Paul Pry

Well, the noun Paul Pry denotes an inquisitive person; one of its synonyms is nosey parker!

You see he wasn’t a person! He was the character in a farce of three acts that premiered at the Haymarket Theatre in London on 13th September 1825 and ran for 114 performances, it then continued to be popular all the way through to ……..

The origines of

It is claimed that Pantomime has its roots in ‘Commedia dell’Arte’, a 16th-century Italian entertainment, however, in Roman in 467 BC  they had Pantomimus ,  a mime show with a single dancer, popular with the Roman Emperors.  Then in medieval mystery plays they always had the ‘goodies’ entering from stage right and the ‘baddies’ from stage left. Was this a form of pantomime?

In fact, we still have …..