Fancy Dress

The British have quite a thing for fancy dress, or costumes in Ameri-speak, which manifested in two ways this past week. First, we went to a traditional Christmas panto, Aladdin, at the Everyman Theater in Cheltenham. If you’ve never been to a panto, it’s more or less a fairy tale livened up by pop music (a Freddie Mercury medley in this case) and both men and women in drag. The male and female romantic leads are played by women, while the role of Widow Twankey—a character that always appears, regardless of the fairytale—goes to a man that is purposely at no risk of being mistaken for a woman.

For reasons still unknown to me, this version of Aladdin was set in “Old Peking”

Our second encounter with fancy dress was at last evening’s New Year’s Eve party. (Unlike Americans, the British see no reason to limit costume parties to Halloween.) Husband and I went, respectively, as Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows and the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I even managed to bag first prize, a bottle of champagne we put to good use to ring in the new year.

Our efforts at bringing two classic children’s books to life

Happy New Year to you and yours! May 2014 bring you health, wealth, and a plethora of opportunities for fancy dress.

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