Before I get to prizes ... where are you for the holiday season?
This Christmas I will be in England enjoying one of my favorite traditions ~ the English Pantomime, or Panto. Full on slap-stick musical comedy for children aged 1 to 100. Men play women, women play men, humans become animals as the audience shouts out warnings that danger approaches! Mayhem rules them all.
This is not the silent mime, like Marcel Marceau, telling a story through gestures, or is it? Originally, in London only two, then three patent theaters were allowed to have oral drama. It wasn't until 1846 that the Pantomime could be spoken. What a turn that played with course humor, rowdy fight scenes and the damsel in distress (played by a man in a frilly dress) being forced to marry the wrong man!
Which brings us to a very interesting twist. We're all familiar with the word Harlequin but did you ever wonder why a company who published romance would dub its novels as Harlequin?
Harlequin was the chequered clothed comic servant from the Italian Commedia dell'arte. Entertaining the crowd by out-maneuvering his master and winning his love from the cold, harsh Pierrot. A trickster of sorts, Harlequin eventually comes to portray the romantic hero.
In the 18th century John Rich created Harlequinades, with flying vehicles, mechanical dragons, and swords turn into wands as the comedic Harlequin continues to fight for his damsel.
Fantasy and comedy and audience participation. The Pantomime has continued to grow and change but the fun, the wonder and the laughter still remains!
Now to the prizes - if you are in my mailing list you will have received my Holiday shout-out. Find the evidence of editorial mayhem for a chance to win the Becca St. John audible of your choice 🎁