Punch & Judy and pantomine. Weirdly English…
Punch and Judy This is a traditional outside one-man seaside puppet show featuring a hunchbacked, squawking wife beater with a stick, his spouse, a baby, a crocodile, a clown and an officious policeman. Move over Nintendo – this is what the kids really want on a rainy day in the summer holidays. WATCH THIS: Punch and Judy fun Pantomime Family Christmas productions at provincial theatres, featuring out-of-work actors and has-been celebrities. These ad-libbing, cross-dressing ‘entertainers’ perform traditional stories like Cinderella, Jack & the Beanstalk and Peter Pan. Petite women dress as slight, high-pitched men, while butch men dress as grotesque pantomime dames. There’s plenty of singing, trouser-dropping, wig falling-off slapstick with audience participation: ‘It’s behind you!’ ‘Oh no it isn’t!’ ‘Oh yes it is!’ ‘Oh no it isn’t’, and so on… The English are raised on panto. We relate to it. We love it. It’s who we are. ‘We don’t like panto!’ ‘Oh yes we do!’ WATCH THIS: Seriously, Panto really doesn’t get any better than this! Extracted from The Oddball English by Annie Harrison.