Pantomime at the Theatre Museum



This Christmas, the Theatre Museum are running their hugely popular Pantomime Workshops for the enjoyment of all – suitable for 5 to 95. From 5 December to 11 February, everyday at 12.30 and 15.00, visitors can enter into the festive spirit by trying on costumes and discover the history of this uniquely British phenomenon.

The Theatre Museum uses a wide variety of costumes illustrating aspects of pantomime stretching back to the late 17th century. This year the museum will be using traditional 19th century Victorian costumes recreated by The Players’ Theatre to demonstrate the different approaches to pantomime over the last hundred years. There are many specially made costumes for small children too – including a cat, mice, and fairy costumes created by Kingsway College, Kentish Town for Sadler’s Wells’ 1999 innovative production of Dick Whittington.

Visitors can dress up and learn about the different styles of pantomime dame and then enact a typical pantomime script. An ideal opportunity for all the family – Mum to play Principal Boy, and Dad Pantomime Dame. Visitors can also receive a reduction on tickets to a traditional Victorian pantomime at the Players’ Theatre, Embankment.

Dominic Le Foe, Director of the Players’ Theatre, explains "The Theatre Museum are giving people a great opportunity to try on costumes form the Players’ Theatre collection and learn more about the only traditional Victorian pantomime in London before coming to see the show for themselves".

The Museum also runs daily Pantomime Make-up demonstrations during this period, so dedicated participants may like to get made up before joining the workshop. Visitors also have the chance to see extracts of famous pantomimes from the Museum’s National Video Archive of Performance, starring the expert legendary exponents of the art of being a Dame, Jack Tripp and Roy Hudd.

30 minute Pantomime Workshops at 12.30 and 15.00.

30 minute Theatrical Make-up demonstrations at 11.30, 13.00, 14.30, 15.30 and 16.30.

STAGETRUCK – pantomime themed family activities

Visitors can make their own pantomime puppets and perform them in a puppet theatre, available on Thursday 21 & Saturday 23 December, 12pm – 5pm. Or make your own pantomime stage, design its set and create performers on Saturday 6 January 2001, 12pm – 5pm.


Nothing Like a Dame: Portraits by Judy Graham 21 November – 7 January

See our Exhibition Page for more details

Actress Judy Graham, who played principal boy in Pantomime for several years, was inspired to honour in portraiture the talented performers with whom she had worked. Pantomime is still the first theatrical experience for many young people, and this display will conjure up its magic and spectacle. Those featured include performers who stamped their unique personality on the Dame role such as Dan Leno, George Robey, Les Dawson, Terry Scott and Danny la Rue.

All activities are free with Admission ticket

Available Tuesday – Sunday Adult £4.50, concessions £2.50.

Under 16s + over 60s free.



This page was last updated 12th January 2001

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