History of the pantomime explored at Louth society meeting

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The history of pantomimes were the subject of discussion at the latest meeting of the Louth Naturalists’, Antiquarian and Literary Society.

Linda Hotchkiss’s talk entitled ‘Let’s Go to the Panto’ delved deep into the pantomime and society members were amazed at how much in a panto was traditional.

The story, the characters, the gender reversal - where the principal boy is always played by a woman and the pantomime dame a man - the use of performers dressed as animals, slapstick and audience participation all go back centuries.

Some pantomime stories can be traced back to Greek and Roman times, but most of the pantos we see today derive from Italian performances of the 16th century.