Pantomime theatre is a wonderful activity for children, that will bring stories alive for your Brisbane Kids. With its often vibrant costumes, amusing characters and sometimes interactive storylines, seeing a pantomime in Brisbane is sure to delight your child.
What is Pantomime?
Pantomime is a type of stage production that has been specially designed for family entertainment. Usually of a musical comedy genre and based on fairy tales, pantomimes were developed in England in the 1800s and are strongly influenced by Roman ‘commedia dell’arte’, the Italian tradition of improvised theatre. Pantomimes (or ‘pantos’, as they are affectionately known) are extremely popular throughout the United Kingdom to this day, with Christmas pantomimes being a long-standing family tradition.
Whilst pantomimes started out as silent performances where the story was portrayed through gestures and dance, our current version of the pantomime now also includes slapstick comedy, songs and gags. Part of the comedy tradition of pantomime was gender-swapping roles, with women playing male roles and vice versa. Audience participation often forms a very big part of the pantomime experience, with viewers encouraged to respond or warn the performers when the ‘villain’ is close by, and even sing along in certain parts of the performance.
Annual Christmas TV pantomimes also became popular in Australia the early days of television in the 1960s, with many local acts going on to have notable careers after performing in one of these shows. Find out more about the history of Christmas TV pantomimes here.
To find out more about upcoming live Christmas pantomimes and shows this year in Brisbane, head to our Christmas Shows in Brisbane page.
Pantomime in Brisbane
Brisbane has a number of theatres and groups that perform pantomimes throughout the year – many providing school holiday activities and Christmas season themed shows. Contact your local theatre or group as listed below, or visit their website to find out when their next pantomime in Brisbane will be performed.
Brisbane City Council Libraries
Brisbane City Council Libraries offer a range of children’s activities throughout the year, which on occasion include pantomimes. Visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/facilities-recreation/libraries to find out more about local shows coming to your library.
The students of Fame deliver fantastic shows for kids and often host special school holiday matinees. Find out what shows are coming up at www.fametheatre.com.au.
Brisbane Arts Theatre
Along with running their own classes for kids, the Brisbane Arts Theatre showcases fun and interactive children’s shows each year. Find out more at www.artstheatre.com.au.
La Boite Theatre
As one of Brisbane’s most renowned contemporary theatres, La Boite lends its incredible talents to a family show each year. Take a look at their upcoming performances at www.laboite.com.au.
Queensland Theatre Company
A leader in delivering quality entertainment, the Queensland Theatre Company encourages families to attend with tailored shows to suit a range of audiences. Find out more at www.queenslandtheatre.com.au.
Mousetrap Theatre Company
A smaller community theatre, Mousetrap Theatre Company has a range of shows which include children’s entertainment. Check out their upcoming schedule at www.mousetraptheatre.asn.au.
Twelfth Night Theatre
Th popular Twelfth Night Theatre has a range of shows throughout the year and has featured popular pantomimes in the past. Take a look at their website at www.twelfthnighttheatre.com.au for more info.
Another great venue for theatre and performances, Brisbane Powerhouse is known for their selection of family-friendly shows. Find out more at https://brisbanepowerhouse.org/.
Pantomime performance will ignite your little ones’ imaginations and is a wonderful way to introduce them to the wonder of live theatre. Why not spark a life long passion and get out to see a pantomime in Brisbane with your kids?!