A British form of comic theatre for a family audience. Typically features a number of stock characters, such as the dame
, an exagerrated female character played by a man in drag; and the principal boy
, usually the title character, played by a woman.
Pantomimes, also known as pantos, are usually based on classic fairy tales or children's stories, such as Snow White, Cinderella, Dick Whittington and Jack and the Beanstalk.
The audience is expected to get involved, by shouting "He's behind you", "Oh, no it isn't", "Oh, yes it is", etc, or booing and hissing the main villian.