What is Panto?

Pantomime, or ‘Panto’, is a very old British theatrical tradition. From the glamour of London’s professional stages to the humble village hall, thousands of pantos are performed each year during the Christmas and New Year period. For generations, an essential part of the festive season has been a visit to the local theatre to join in the traditions of watching a well-loved panto story.

First and foremost panto is about telling a traditional story such as Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty or Aladdin. Its proper name in the UK is pantomime, BUT British pantomime has got nothing to do with the art form of telling stories without words.  What makes panto different is how the story is told. There is singing, dancing, drama, comedy, colourful characters and audience participation.

In panto tradition, the Principal Boy, such as Aladdin, is played by a woman and there is always a comedy character, the Dame, played by a man. The evil villain is always defeated by the handsome hero and a comedy duo gets up to all sorts of mischief and mayhem. The audience don’t just sit quietly and watch either. They are expected to cheer the hero, boo the villain and at appropriate times shout out well practiced phrases such as “Oh yes he did! or “It’s behind you!”  Panto is fun family entertainment and an experience that is not to be missed. For more information about British Pantomime visit

If you are interested in getting involved in one of our productions or just finding out more about what we do, please visit our ‘Get involved’ page or email us at: [email protected] 

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Our 2020  production – Alice in Wonderland

Previous productions

To savour the magic of panto, have a look at our Photo Gallery. There's also a full list of our Past Productions.

Sell-out houses joined the Pantoloons as they presented another feast of fun for the whole family with their traditional panto version of 'The Snow Queen' - it really was the coolest family panto.


The village of Torvoren is a ski resort with a problem. It has no snow. Mayor Carlsberg has a plan to save the village, but the Snow Queen doesn’t like it and plans to stop it. Kai and Gerda have lived in Torvoren all their lives and are Best Friends Forever, and when the Snow Queen tricks Kai into coming with her to the Ice Palace, Gerda sets out to rescue him and bring him home. On her journey she is helped by Kai’s grandma Svetlana, some unusually helpful animals and some tap-dancing elves. However, there are dangers waiting for her in the Frozen Forest. Will a snow storm stop her journey? Will she make it past the wolves? Will she be able to complete her journey and bring Kai home? Will Torvoren ever have snow again?

Our 2019 production – The Snow Queen

The Pantoloons were proud to present Alice in Wonderland – the Curiouser and Curiouser Pantomime!


Sell-out houses came to meet Alice, our intrepid heroine, whose curiosity took her all the way down a rabbit-hole and into the magical world of Wonderland.  They joined her on a fantastical journey, meeting some crazy characters along the way – the unusual Mad Hatter, the mysterious Cheshire Cat, the hilarious Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and the slightly scary Queen of Hearts!


What would happen to Alice in this amazing land?  Would good finally triumph over evil?  And how would she ever get home again?


This family show had music, jokes, drama and all the fun and laughter you have come to expect from a Pantoloons production.  If you have never been to a panto before, come along to our next show for one of the craziest theatre events you could hope to see. There are always wonderful characters, fabulous costumes and scenery -  and lots and lots of audience participation.

Oh yes there is!