The Beginning of Pantomime

Pantomime is a form of comic British theatre that has evolved from many different sources. In Roman times a mime show created by a single dancer was known as Pantomimus and the first one recorded was performed in 467 BC by a dancer called Telestes. Would you believe it, Roman Emperor Nero was so jealous of this pantomime performer that he had him put to death for being so talented!

In medieval mystery plays, the ‘goodies’ entered from stage right and the ‘baddies’ from stage left. This was adopted as a tradition in pantomime and still applies today.

In the 16th century Commedia dell’ Arte, from Italy, was hugely popular, but couldn’t really take off in England because of a law which didn’t allow women to appear on stage, so female parts were played by men. Even William Shakespeare had to cast men as women in his productions. All these disparate sources combined to create the first pantomimes. 

Today, your children preform in their own simple pantomime, we have published, Potty Pantos, to learn about them click on


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