This is the most famous phrase in Panto world but how did it start?

It all happened because Pantomime grew out of Music Hall which had audience participation and by the late 19th early 20th centuries became the home of pantomime.

Today most of our entertainment comes from Netflix, Disney, Amazon and the main TV channels with visits to the cinema and theatre, but in in the early 20th century the only popular entertainment was Music Halls, which were therefore hugely popular and led to the popularity of pantomime.

This allowed the great comedy performers of the time to thrive in the informal and unrestricted world that pantomime gave them. It followed that the great male comedy actors would put on a lurid dress, a wig and some very bad make-up, and instantly got huge laughs.  The Dame had arrived, who is now a fixture in every pantomime.  The Dame’s popularity grew because he was obviously a man dressed up as a woman, a matron-like mother, always trying to find a new husband. The fact that the Dame was a man was exaggerated, not disguised, which led to the principle boy being an attractive girl dressed up as a boy, showing lots of leg. They say to keep the dads interested! These gender reversals made pantomime unique.

As everything in Pantomime originated from Music Hall audience participation became inevitable, leading the phrases such as ‘Oh no it isn’t”, “ oh yes it is’ and of course ‘It’s behind you’, These catchphrases pulled the audience into the shows, and is was what made it an unique genre.

So that your children can get involved, we have published a series of Potty Pantos that can be performed by your children for the parents or teachers for the children.

Simply go to