In this new millennium, fairy tales are flourishing. The children’s sections of libraries and bookshops are bursting with beautiful editions of well-known fairy tales, with exotic, vivid illustrations. Their collections are worldwide: Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese, Persian, Scandinavian, African, North American, British, and more. To have survived over the ages, the traditional fairy tales must have had very strong and special meanings. And this would explain their longevity. The secret of this longevity has been transferred to Pantomime, which draws most of its stories from well-known fairy-tales, popular folk-tales and similar sources.
English Pantomimes usually contain stock characters such as the principal boy, (generally played by a young girl with shapely legs) the heroine (also played by a young girl) And a dame (almost always played by a man) who is an exaggeration of a lewd middle-aged lady. Scripts change from year to year, to reflect the times. And one of the strengths of pantomime, is that is constantly evolving and updating. Pantomime, or ‘panto’ as it is affectionately called in Britain, contains four strands of humour: visual, topical, corny and the downright rude. The same type of humour that is to be found on saucy seaside postcards.