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Catch a holiday pantomime in Britain

The British have one Christmas tradition they claim as their own: an outing to see a pantomime, or “panto.” The theatrical production is full of singing, gags, slapstick humor and audience participation.

Produced by both local troupes and renowned companies, the fantastical story lines appeal to children, while adults enjoy the risque, off-beat double entendres.

Companies stage pantos leading up to Christmas, through the New Year and beyond. Titles of some of the most-beloved productions include “Aladdin,” “Cinderella,” “Dick Whittington,” “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Peter Pan.” Larger productions sometimes feature well-known personalities.

Bigpantoguide.co.uk provides a directory of performances broken down by county. Those venturing into London to catch one of the bigger shows can consult Time Out London for a list of shows.

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About the Author

Karen Bradbury has lived and worked in Europe for more than fifteen years. She has called Moscow, Copenhagen, Rome and now a small wine-producing village along the Rhine in Germany home. When she's not working, whatever the season, she's probably traveling.

Email: bradburyk@estripes.osd.mil