British Pantomime Performance

Millie Taylor

Millie Taylor

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

208 pages | 36 halftones | 6-3/4 x 9 | © 2007
Paper $35.50 ISBN: 9781841501741 Published November 2007
British pantomime, a blend of commedia dell’arte and vaudeville-style performance, uses cross-dressing, familiar children’s stories such as Cinderella, and shouts from the audience as the basis for its matchless theatrical spectacle. Millie Taylor’s British Pantomime Performance explores how pantomime creates an interactive relationship with—and potentially transformative experience for—its audiences.

In its uniquely British form, pantomime draws viewers into the story through an engagement with the hero, an empathetic attachment to the success of the quest, and a complicit relationship between actors and spectators as they unite to create the live performance. A heady combination of slapstick, dance, and witty repartee, British pantomime strives to seek balance between the intellectual appreciation of artifice, the chaotic possibilities of interactivity, and the emotional engagement of narrative storytelling. British Pantomime Performance digs beneath the jokes to force a reevaluation of pantomime’s importance as a dramatic art form.
 
“Their [industry professionals] contributions provide a fascinating insight not only into some of the secrets and tricks that help produce the magic we see on stage, but also help complement and develop the ideas of the author. I would highly recommend it to anyone working in pantomime or teaching it in the post-16 sector.”—Journal of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama
 
“It is rare for a scholarly work to be so handy with the nuts and bolts of performance. Millie Taylor has been the musical director of British professional pantomimes, and there has never been a better guide that this to the true priorities of those who stalwartly produce them.”—Peter Thompson, Editor of Studies in Theatre & Performance
 
 
 
 
Journal of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama

“Their [industry professionals] contributions provide a fascinating insight not only into some of the secrets and tricks that help produce the magic we see on stage, but also help complement and develop the ideas of the author. I would highly recommend it to anyone working in pantomime or teaching it in the post-16 sector.”

Peter Thompson, Editor of Studies in Theatre & Performance

“It is rare for a scholarly work to be so handy with the nuts and bolts of performance. Millie Taylor has been the musical director of British professional pantomimes, and there has never been a better guide that this to the true priorities of those who stalwartly produce them.”

Contents
   Acknowledgments
   List of Illustrations
   The Prologue: What's Behind Them?
 
   1.   Money Matters
   2.   Chaos and Disruption in Slapstick and Slosh Scenes
   3.   Fantasy
   4.   Familiarity and Nostalgia in an Oral Tradition
   5.   Quests and Transformations in Pantomime Stories
   6.   Playing with Distance in Pantoland
   7.   Is She or Isn't He? Gender Identity
   8.   Audience Participation, Community and Ritual
   9.   Topical Reference and the Unique Event
   10.  Artifice and Excess in Pantomime Comedy
   11.  Mixing Genres in Pantomime Music
   12.  A Utopian Community of Dancers
 
   The Epilogue: What's Entertainment
   Bibliography
   Index
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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