The Pantomime or Panto is a kind of musical comedy stage production, designed for family entertainment. It was developed in England and is performed throughout the United Kingdom, generally during the Christmas and New Year season.
Modern pantomimes include songs, gags, slapstick comedy and dancing, employ gender-crossing actors, and combine topical humour and a story loosely based on a well-known fairy-tale, fable or folk-tale. it is a participatory form of theatre, in which the audience is expected to sing along with certain part of the music and shout out phrases to the performers.
Pantomime has a long theatrical history in the Western culture dating back to classical theatre, and it developed partly from the 16th-century Italian tradition of commedia dell'arte, as well as others European and British stage traditions such as 17th-century masques and music hall.
A contemporary pantomime stage tradition is the celebrity guest star. Many modern pantomime use popular artists to promote the show, and the play is often adapted to allow the star to showcase their well-known act, even when such a spot has little relation to the main plot!