Pantomime Vs Cabaret

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Lizi Minelli, in her 1972 debut as Sally Bowles in Bob Fasse’s musical-film “Cabaret” based on John van Druten’s play “I Am a Camera”, once so scintillatingly crooned: “Life is a cabaret old chum, come to the cabaret! Similarly, Jim Woodring once said in his remarks about pantomime that: “It takes more drawing to tell a story in pantomime.” Pantomime and Cabaret are genres of theatre that have captivated many European countries with its satirical and humorous dialogue, and its outright defiance of contemporary theatre conventions in its consistent metamorphosis of form to cater for modern trends of performance. However, both genres are inherently different in form and functionality, and serve very different purposes in both its history and…show more content…
It has undergone somewhat of a semantic change from its Greek etymology meaning “imitating all”, and presents a cohesive fusion of nursery rhyme and story-telling, harnessing distinctive features such as “commedia dell’arte figures… topical and often satirical references, [an] elaborate stage set… all in plots that display a total disregard of logic”. (Kaplan p. 266 – 276). Max Beerbohm notes in his description of the art that pantomime is the only form of drama uniquely English. Similarly to Cabaret Theatre, the interaction between the audience and the cast is integral to the form of the drama (), and would inevitably appeal to a juvenile audience. Pantomime has interwoven many theatrical elements into its dialogue throughout its existence, and by adapting to the perpetual world of theatre forms, it has reigned supreme (). The element of novelty in a pantomime contributes significantly to its appeal, as has its ability to incorporate modern trends and topicality within a structured framework (). Although the contemporary pantomime may have deviated somewhat from its original format, to remain popular this form of theatre has had to keep abreast of modern trends by weaving such trends into its format. By doing so, it…show more content…
Commedia is a very physical type of theatre that incorporates “dance, music, tumbling, acrobatics and buffoonery” into its form of performance. The term roughly translated denotes an improvised drama, and is implicit to the means of performance than to the subtext of the play (). Commedia dell’arte artists had a vivid assortment of stories that were performed in fairgrounds and market places, and often the touring ensemble were characterised by family members who would inevitably inherit their characters, costumes assortments and anectdotes or fables from their parents or grandparents (). The Commedia dell 'arte focused mostly with dishonourable love intrigues and clever tricks to acquire money. () The deliverance of comic relief, in the form lazzi or humerous interruptions, which often were irrelevant to the play itself, and the facilitation of masks, which allowed each character to shape his/her sense of identity in the play, frame Commedia dell’Arte to its unique eccentricity and absurdity. () The position or ranking of a family member in a play would inevitably be bequeathed to the next generation upon

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