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Omnibus: The Story of Pantomime


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Introduced by Humphrey Burton

Where does The Panto come from? Why is the Principal Boy played by a girl? Who invented the Panto Horse? Who first said 'Look out - he's behind you!'?
Tonight's film investigates the origins and development of this peculiarly English form of theatre, in the company of Ken Campbell, Chris Langham, Bob Hoskins, Andy Andrews, Eddie Davies, Duncan Faber, Dave Rappaport, Jeni Barnett and Zoe Wanamaker. Together they examine the evidence and reconstruct episodes of 'Panto through the Ages':
A Serenade to Columbine - bawdy improvised comedy in the style of the Commedia dell'Arte.
Italian Night Scenes -first English experiments in pantomime, as pioneered by John Rich in 1717. Grimaldi Clowning - Regency slap-stick, starring the legendary Joey Grimaldi, whose comic business in the Harlequinade was the high-spot of the show.
Victorian Transformations - introducing the Principal Boy.
Enter the Dame - pantomime now invaded by music-hall stars, led by Dan Leno as Mother Goose.
Jimmy Jewel takes over as guide for this last part of the story, as he initiates his new partner Dave Hill into the mysteries of the Trick Bedroom Scene, which was created by his father in 1918, and first used in panto by Jewel and Warriss in 1940.
Music written by Mike Westbrook and played by his Brass Band
Costume KEN TREW
Film editor DAVID MARTIN
Executive producer BARRIE GAVIN
Written and produced by TONY STAVEACRE


Introduced By: Humphrey Burton
Unknown: Ken Campbell
Unknown: Chris Langham
Unknown: Bob Hoskins
Unknown: Andy Andrews
Unknown: Eddie Davies
Unknown: Duncan Faber
Unknown: Dave Rappaport
Unknown: Jeni Barnett
Unknown: Zoe Wanamaker.
Unknown: John Rich
Unknown: Joey Grimaldi
Unknown: Dan Leno
Unknown: Mother Goose.
Unknown: Jimmy Jewel
Written By: Mike Westbrook
Played By: Brass Band
Designer: Keith Cheetham
Designer: Cameramen John Wyatt
Producer: Barrie Gavin
Produced By: Tony Staveacre

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Omnibus: The Story of Pantomime

BBC One London, 23 December 1976 22.15

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