Pantomime - start now!

Read the text and do the tasks that follow:

Pantomimes are very popular in Britain at Christmas. Most big towns and cities have their own pantomime. This is a humorous musical play usually performed in the open air. A pantomime is usually based on a traditional story which everyone knows, and the show itself is very exciting, with lots of jokes, songs and dancing. Sometimes the audience takes part in the performance, too.

The tradition began over two hundred years ago and has been a part of Christmas celebrations ever since. At first it was merely an entertainment for children, but now adults enjoy it as much. Of course, there have been a lot of changes over the years. Some elements, like joking and singing, were added, but the basic plot has remained the same. Every pantomime must have three main characters: a young man, a young lady and a "dame". The first two al-ways marry at the end, and the dame, the comic figure, tries to prevent them from doing it.

There are all possible kinds of pantomimes, and a lot of famous singers or comedians take part in them. Thus the old tradition is enriched with modern ideas and fresh forces, which is so typical of the British.

Choose the best sentence ending which is true to the text:

1. Pantomimes

are a sort of entertainment for children;
started not so long ago;
are absolutely the same in every area;
have the same principal characters.

2. The principal characters

are always played by pop singers;
are found in every pantomime;
are all comic figures for people to laugh at;
always performed by famous comedians.

3. New ideas

bring life into old stories that the pantomimes are based on;
can prevent the characters from getting married;
make people feel sorry and sad;
are something pantomimes can't do without.

4. The songs and dances in pantomimes

have been a part of every pantomime from the very beginning;
were added to please the children;
are one of those new ideas which didn't let pantomime die;
have always been the funniest part of them.