Encyclopedia > Pantomime

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Pantomime is a branch of theatre in which the performer uses no voice but acts out the performance using only motion, body language[?] and gesture. It is usually, but not always done in white face.

In the UK, "pantomime" has come to mean a non-silent form of theatre traditionally performed at Christmas, with audiences consisting mainly of children. Pantomimes tend to be based on traditional stories, and there is only a small number of basic themes and titles, the most popular being:

The form has a number of conventions, which include:

  • The leading male character (the "principal boy") is played by a young woman.
  • An older woman (the "dame") is played by a man in drag.
  • There is a great deal of audience participation, including calls of "he's behind you", and "oh yes it is" or "oh no it isn't".

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Thomas a Kempis

... Backer (Essai, ut inf.) enumerates 545 Latin and about 900 French editions. Originally written in Latin, a French translation was made as early as 1447, ...

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