How to explain the panto dame tradition to a 7 year old boy

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I took my son to see the simply marvellous pantomime Sleeping Beauty at the Birmingham Hippodrome this week (I’m reviewing it at Have a Lovely Time in support of their bid to raise money for a children’s charity this Christmas).
We love the panto. The ‘he’s behind you’, the ‘booooooo, hiiissssssss’, the clapping along to the music.

Dan: “That lady’s costumes were amazing. How did she get changed so quickly. And why was one of them a goldfish bowl?”

Me: “You do know that wasn’t a lady don’t you Dan?”

Pause for thought.

Dan: “It was.”

Me: “It wasn’t my love. It’s a bit of a panto tradition where one of the main lady characters is always played by a man.”

Dan: “That was a man?”

Me: “It was. The costumes were amazing weren’t they?”

Dan: “But why? Why was she a man? I don’t get it.”

Me: “It’s a tradition. It’s just something they do in pantomime.”

Pause for more thought.

Dan: “I just don’t get it. Seems like a daft tradition to me.”

So there you go. I failed miserably.

I’m off to drown myself in a sea of wrapping paper now, but I would just like to say a very happy Christmas to all who have visited, commented, lurked, hung around for a while.

I am grateful to each and every one of you for taking the time to visit and I hope you have a fabulous Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year. x

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