- "Oh, Yes It Is!" A History of Pantomime
British Broadcasting Corporation, London, 1985.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 192pp., with 20pp. of colour and monochrome plates. Mild wear; bottom edges of the boards are bumped. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. This fascinating book unravels the complex and absorbing story of how pantomime developed out of the Italian 'commedia dell'arte' characters of the Harlequinade; how men like John Rich, the Eighteenth Century theatre manager, Grimaldi, the most famous clown of all with his sausages and red-hot poker, and music-hall stars like Dan Leno and Vesta Tilley, down to today's television entertainers, have contributed their particular talents to it; and how others less well-known, have created the tricks and traps and jokes, and above all the 'skin' parts (where would pantomime be without a goose, or cow, or cat?) that we all have come to expect. Gerald Frow, who has spent a lifetime in the theatre and entertainment business, has written the first comprehensive history of the pantomime for nearly fifty years, based on his researches for the Radio 4 series which this lively and entertaining book accompanies.
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