Christmas in London: The Panto

For the series “Italian Doing British Things”, which launches today and stars as the main character and narrating voice yours truly, ladies and gentlemen welcome to the Pantomime Edition.
So I went to see a panto, as you might have gathered. The play, called “Dick Whittington and his Cat” was staged at the Wilton’s Music Hall, which is allegedly the oldest music hall surviving in the world and is located in the area of Shadwell. There you go, I gave you a good reason to venture in Shadwell now!
The experience wasn’t totally new to me, I had in fact been introduced to the delights of panto last Christmas by a jolly group of British friends, so I knew what to expect and how to behave, but it still took me a good thirty minutes to get into the spirit and scream freely IT’S BEHIND YOU at any given signal. Had I been slightly intoxicated, the blend-in time would have been shorter but, alas, I was on medication and couldn’t enjoy one of the best features of this kind of entertainment, which is drinking while watching. I have never, in my Italian life, been allowed drinks in a play, which makes it even more characteristic and foreign to me, though in a good way. Also, if I hadn’t had cheap and convenient food beforehand, I could have indulged in some very British delicacy like sausages and gravy or mince pie, which looked rather tasty (OH NO, IT DIDN’T! OH YES, IT DID). Instead, I picked the cheapest option, though still quite British, ie crisps…dear Christmas bonus, where are you? Behind me, maybe?
I won’t dwell on the feature of a panto as a theatre genre, but I am sure you’ll be able to fill the void with Wikipedia, in case you need to.
All in all it was a fun night, in a lovely venue and with nice people (hi colleagues, if you are reading this!) and I’d definitely recommend it to another ItalianInLondon.

 

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