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BBC随身英语-Pantomimes 圣诞节上演的话剧

In winter in Britain, many children and adults enjoy going to the theatre to watch a pantomime. Pantomimes are a very old form of entertainment, but the modern version is as popular as ever.

Pantomimes today originate from a type of light, popular, comedy play from 16th Century Italy. Some aspects of modern pantomime date from this time, for example having stock characters who appear in different stories.

Pantomimes started to be performed in England in the 17th Century, and it was here that the comedy developed into slapstick - a clownish, physical comedy characterised by people falling over or fighting in a silly way.

In the 19th Century, Grimaldi, a famous clown, introduced the tradition of audience participation, a very important aspect of modern pantomime. He established catch phrases, which the audience would respond to by shouting a known response.

There are two very well-known catch phrases in modern British pantomime. The first is that a character will pretend not to see his enemy and ask the audience where he is. The audience shout out ‘Look behind you!’ The second is where a character pretends to have an argument with the audience using phrases like ‘Oh yes I did’ and ‘Oh no you didn’t!’

Pantomimes are based on folk stories or fairy tales like Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk or Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The performances often include songs or music.

There are two stock characters who feature in almost every pantomime. The first is the pantomime dame, an older woman such as an aunt, usually played by a man. She usually has an outrageous costume and a bawdy sense of humour.

In addition, there is often a male character played by a young woman, called the principal boy. This is usually the hero of the story. The fact that actors are playing roles of the wrong gender is part of the joke.

Often, celebrities from the world of TV or pop music take leading roles in pantomimes, or ‘pantos’. You will find a pantomime in almost every theatre in Britain in wintertime…‘Oh yes you will!’



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GLOSSARY 词汇表



pantomime

(圣诞节上演的)话剧

originate from

起源于…

date from

起始于…

stock character

固定角色

slapstick

闹剧, 滑稽戏

clownish

滑稽的

physical comedy

喜剧 (主要用肢体语言表达)

clown

小丑

audience participation

观众的参与

catch phrases

口头禅, 套话

character

角色

based on

以…为基础, 基于

folk stories

民间故事

fairy tales

神话故事

pantomime dame

话剧的女主角之一, 通常是指年岁较大的那位

played by

由…来演

bawdy

淫猥的, 下流的

principal boy

话剧的男主角

actors

演员

celebrities

社会名流
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