Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I hate pantomimes!

Oh, no, you don't!
Oh yes, I do!!
Even as a child I struggled to see the humourous side of this traditional entertainment. I know it's only a manifestation of the human urge to prick bubbles, to indulge in the carnivalesque. I'm not entirely sure why a panto doesn't make me laugh since I have a well-developed sense of the absurd. Not laughing at Dames and Principal Boys must come from an ingraained dislike of letting go, of wanting to control events. I find the humour too crude, too clunky, the costumes too garish - oh yes, I expect the fault lies within me! I'm more a fan of sophisticated witticisms.

And yet I have recently sat through our annual village panto. No, I didn't laugh all that much, and only joined in the time-honoured responses in a very quiet voice. I suspect the cast and their families had a fabulous time - and very good luck to them, doing something together that they all clearly love. My reason for going was to do with village solidarity. So the Am Dram Society's version of Snow White and the 7 (quite large) Dwarves achieved its purpose, and raised some badly needed funds into the bargain.

In centuries past I expect I would have been one of those know-it-all problem women who would have been plonked backwards on a donkey and driven through the streets to the sound of jeering, or strapped into a cucking-stool and dunked unceremoniously in a nearby stream. As it is, all I had to suffer was joining in a little with some booing and hissing, and a ribald version of English Country Garden...

Roll on next year!

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