Film Screening, Elizabeth Wood's: The Pantomime Dame In 16mm
Seward Park Library
192 East Broadway New York, NY10002
Each Christmas season, the British enjoy the ribaldry of "the dame," a larger-than-life caricature of a mother figure always portrayed by a man, specifically Britain's leading comedic actors. The Pantomime Dame uses satire, jokes, farce and exaggeration to entertain audiences and provide a release for their problems. Archival stills and footage from pantomime shows and interviews provide historical background for a style of comedy said to have begun when Queen Victoria was in her prime. Londoners reminisce about the old-time "dames" and express the importance of having the audience realize that the character is really a man dressed as a woman.