The Christmas Pantomime: An Outdated Tradition? — Seo-Yon Shin, LEH

Pantomimes are an English Christmas custom that entails the viewers greater than some other sort of leisure. ‘Pantos’, as they’re typically affectionately referred to, steadily incorporate dramatic irony, cross-dressing, and different elements to create these comedies.

Our college places on an annual Christmas pantomime, run by the yr 13s, and it’s a enormously anticipated occasion yearly. Last yr my headteacher commented on the cross-dressing within the panto and the way pantomimes couldn’t be what they’re with out it. It actually struck a chord with lots of the college students as this outdated time period was not even acquainted to the youthful pupils. While our headteacher’s remark was not vulgar or offensive, it started the dialog of the validity of what cross-dressing is to pantomimes and the appropriateness of such a factor. 


Cross-dressing in theatre started as a means of incorporating feminine characters into the story, as girls weren’t permitted to behave in theatres. This actually allowed for a misogynistic portrayal of girls. Cross-dressing actors on stage weren’t accused of homosexuality or persecuted for it, as different individuals would have been had they been caught ‘cross-dressing’ in public. The idea of ‘cross-dressing’ depends on gender stereotypes and expectations, that are not prevalent in at present’s society. A girl carrying trousers can be thought of cross-dressing, simply as a person carrying a skirt would even be thought of as such, however garments are not broadly recognised as being gendered – simply as many different objects are not being seen as unnecessarily gendered. Therefore, cross-dressing can not exist on this modern world.


As girls now act in theatres, cross-dressing is not a instrument to get feminine characters on stage, however moderately an act of comedy. This means that carrying garments which are gender non-conforming is one thing that ought to be mocked and can be utilized to entertain an viewers. There are traces of transphobia on this message because it implies that transgender people are comedic attributes to society, and it invalidates their true experiences and struggles. 


Traditions are at all times close to and pricey to individuals’s hearts, however ought to traditions proceed on the expense of an increasing and progressing society? Cross-dressing is outdated and pointless to an gratifying Christmas pantomime and shouldn’t be a fundamental attribute. 

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply