January 2023

Here We Are Again: the great British pantomime

Our speaker has been a writer and director of historic pantomimes throughout England for over 30 years. He has researched its origins and evolution, from the commedia d’ell arte roots, to its first British representation in Georgian England, to the Victorian spectaculars, music hall & variety additions and ultimately into the modern age. Learn about the origins of slapstick and how Britain became the crucible of the pantomime form, independently from the rest of the world. Find-out exactly why pantomime is so popular, what makes it so successful and how it remains such a joyful celebration of all that is quintessentially British.

The lecturer on this occasion is Tony Lidington

Tony has been a showman, researcher and teacher for over 35 years: he has run theatre venues, companies, festivals and events for and with a wide range of diverse communities. He specialises in historical popular entertainment forms and their application to contemporary contexts and in 2017, he was awarded a doctorate by Exeter University for his research into itinerant British performance forms and where he is now a part-time lecturer. He regularly broadcasts for both radio and television – most recently for Lee Mack’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? However, he is perhaps best known by families throughout the country, as ‘Uncle Tacko!’ – ringmaster of his extraordinary flea circus and the founder of ‘The Pierrotters’, Britain’s last professional seaside pierrot troupe.

This lecture will be given in the Matthews Hall at 1045 a.m.on January 12th 2023