Thursday, 18 December 2014


"Oh, yes you do!"
"Oh, no I don't!"

There are so many things that I love about Christmas but one that I really miss, being away from home, is an English Christmas Pantomime. That anticipatory hush when the lights went down before the curtain went up. The colours and costumes that amazed me as a child are as vivid now as then, With crazy special effects and poor Buttons who never got the girl. There is nothing quite like a "Panto" (short for Pantomime) for laughs with all the family. Where else but Britain would family entertainment include cross-dressing, custard pie fights, magic, songs and innuendo? Popular TV stars appear in shows all over the country during Christmas and the New Year. So to learn about what "Panto" is, watch one or both of these videos (see the links below), print up the worksheets I've made to accompany them and have fun! 

Panto poster for Cinderella.

1. This is a 3 minute video for a quick listening comprehension exercise. (Suitable for B1 and up.)

What is "English Pantomime"?


2. This is a 10 minute piece showing examples of Pantomime characteristics.(The exercises are more suitable for B2+ and up.)

Characteristics of English Pantomime


"It's behind you!"

A pantomime horse.

Some Horsey Idioms
"Stop horsing around!" Don't be silly!
"A dark horse" Someone/thing unknown or hiding something.
"Only fools and horses (work)..." Meaning: Only foolish people work & do not earn a living in an easy (usually Criminal) way.
"Hold your horses!" Slow down!
"Eat like a horse" Eat a lot.
"Get off your high horse." Stop thinking your are right all the time.

Season's Greetings to you all!