Queen Victoria and her family loved the pantomime, so did her subjects of all classes. The English Pantomime is one of the most popular, least analysed of all theatrical forms. It’s been the festive mainstay of the English stage since the eighteenth century, and it has survived by its ability to evolve. This continual evolution is traced by Jeffrey Richards in the first history of panto through its ‘Golden Age’ in Victorian England. He explores the spectacle, the slapstick, and the talent for subversion that nineteenth-century pantomime had – and still has in different ways. His story, told with panache and enjoyment, is peopled with remarkable actors, managers, producers and punters , across the country from Drury Lane to Blackpool. This is a treat as rich as turkey and Christmas pudding.
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