Panto never goes out of fashion

We’re in the middle of pantomime season and, in theatres and village halls, girls are dressing up as Aladdin, Peter Pan or Prince Charming and defeating the baddies with a swagger.

I tried to defeat a baddy with a swagger once, but he grabbed it and hit me with it.

Back in PantoLand, men struggle into outrageously ornate frocks, slap on OTT make-up and wear enormous wigs decorated with flashing Christmas lights.

At curtain-up, the cast sing the biggest pop song of the year, to the delight of the kids and the bemusement of the adults accompanying them, before telling jokes that were old when Dan Leno was a lad.

They’ve lasted because silly humour never goes out of fashion.

At the end, good defeats evil, there’s usually a Royal Wedding (which unlike Harry and Meghan’s won’t clash with the FA Cup Final) and everyone leaves the theatre with a smile on their face.

Well, not everyone. Pantomimes often contain a few double-entendres to keep the adults happy and baffle the little ’uns.

But you’ll have read that “Dick Whittington” at Manchester Opera House, features a relentless barrage of gags related to the title character and at one point Jimmy Krankie pokes a finger out of his trousers, pretending it’s ‘his’ . . . . well, you get the idea.

One teacher who took her class to the pantomime said it was a step too far and made her and her pupils feel very uncomfortable. That’s the last thing a family pantomime should do.

As veteran panto performer, writer and director Roy Hudd says “Pantomimes have always contained innuendo, but my yardsticks for writing  panto comedy are Laurel and Hardy and Dad’s Army, which made adults and children laugh.”

If you’ve seen a pantomime this year which you thought contained too many rude jokes, let me know. I could do with some new ones.