Then there is the dame. This is usually the principal boy's mother, and always played by a man. Here is Fatima Sinbad, played by my favourite dame, Dicky. The dame is not at all effeminate, but just a man in a dress (and fake boobs) and Dicky pulls this off effortlessly!
Every panto has its villain. Here is the evil sorceror Nastase, played by Russ. He was so scarey, that four small children had to be taken home in the matinee as they were so frightened of him!
They eventually ended up with the two silly fools, Mustapha and Hassan (or Colin and Keith) as panto is great for pairing people up in matrimony. The last scene is always a wedding scene. I hope Keith manages to get the blue makeup out of his moustache before work on Monday!The foil to the dame was Ali, played by the veteran of silly fools, Andrew, looking particularly dashing here in his naval outfit.
The princess's mother was played most regally be Becky B.
and the visir (with another painted moustache) by Richard.
A special feature of panto is the requirement for audience participation. The villain expects to be booed and hissed at every appearance, there are lots of opportunities to shout 'Oh yes he is' or 'Oh no he isn't' in response to the characters, and always a scene when there is a ghost or monster behind one of the characters which the audience have to spot, and warn the character by shouting 'He's behind you!' Towards the end of the show there is always a sing song, where the audience join in a song (the words are provided on a board) which turns into a competition between the two halves of the auditorium, always ending in a draw.