My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

1 Article from December 2013

  1. Panto, panto, pantomime!

    (Title shamelessly adapted from Peeta as portrayed in How the Hunger Games Should Have Ended.)

    Last Friday I had the privilege of accompanying my roommate and her ten-year-old daughter to a pantomime performance of Aladdin. After a delightful dinner out of pizza, we walked down to the Theatre Royal in Bury. We found our box in the upper circle and settled in to await the beginning of the show, marked by the arrival of its sinister villain,

    This was my first experience with a pantomime. For that reason, I have nothing to compare it to (except my own, less than recent, experiences with other types of theatre). I’m glad I didn’t miss out! Pantomime is a distinctively British tradition of theatre which combines elements of fairy tale, particularly European and Arabian folklore, with musical theatre, comedy, and sexual innuendo. The male lead is usually portrayed by a young woman, and an older man plays an older woman—often the lead’s mother—as the "pantomime dame". Panto, as it is so lovingly abbreviated, also involves audience participation. Rather than sitting with rapt silence as Scrooge cowers from the Ghost of Christmas Past, we the audience are instead expected to shout, boo,…

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