From Pinto to Panto

Saturday, 18 December 2010

British and Australian readers will be familiar with pantomime, a form of theatre that is very popular at Christmas. It’s mainly for children, a staged version of fairly tales like Snow White or Jack and the Beanstalk. But it includes characteristic features like actors in drag and humour that works in different levels, children may laugh at something but often there’s are hidden sexual or political references, something viewers of The Simpsons can appreciate at times.

One tradition of “panto” is audience participation and a form of call and response that the actors play with the audience. No show is complete without the cries of “oh yes it is!” and then “oh no it isn’t!”, usually in a camp style and then repeated several times to the mirth of the kids in the audience.

Oh no I didn’t!

But it’s not exclusive to theatres in London or Sydney, it’s also happening in Spain. Reading L’Equipe this morning it appears the Spanish cycling federation is heading for a stand-off with Alberto Contador. Spanish cycling President Castano says “none of the parties will be satisfied with the final decision. It’s a difficult case that demands further examination” and adding that the case is likely to reach a conclusion in mid-January and then go to the Court for Arbitration for Sport.

Analysing these words it appears that Contador is stating his innocence and the Spanish federation is saying “Oh no you’re not“, to which Contador replies “oh yes I am” and then the federation replies with a chant of “Oh no you’re not“, to which Contador responds with “oh yes I am“. And so on, until the CAS rules.

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