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News & Blog > News > Making and Keeping Memories > Layered Online Learning - IDS Panto 2020

Layered Online Learning - IDS Panto 2020

Watch the IDS Panto 2020 online now

What is a Panto?

The pantomime genre is a strange one, especially if you weren’t brought up in Britain. They are loud, fun and enjoyable musical comedy theatre productions, and are a show like no other.

Pantomime literally means ‘all kinds of mime’ and its generally agreed that it is based on the early masques (or Commedia dell Arte) of the Elizabethan and Stewart days. In the 14th century masques were musical mimes or spoken dramas performed in grand houses, although by the 17th century they were no more than an excuse for a good party.

What is an IDS Panto?

How old is the IDS panto tradition? A matter of contention for Mick Moore, who has thoroughly researched the records of IDS closely to discover that design of rooms 120/121 was deliberately the same size as a classic Pantomime stage and that civil servants from around the world would have their learning significantly improved by the great British tradition of Panto. Richard Jolly maintains that the first IDS panto happened in 1973 (editor: have these facts been checked?).  Whatever the history we certainly continue to have essentials, for it to be panto:

  • audience participation is essential (oh yes it is!),
  • as is some slapstick comedy,
  • a guaranteed happy ending where love must conquer all and everyone lives happily ever after
  • And it’s not an IDS panto without a joke about clogged bathrooms, fish and chips on Friday, and at least one reference to Robert Chambers or Richard Jolly.

IDS Panto 2020

And at the end of a year like this I think we can all agree that IDS Panto is what we need – thank you to all who worked to make sure that it went ahead in spite of the limitations imposed by 2020.

Unlike previous years we don’t have to wait for Panto to be edited and online! If you haven’t yet seen it or want to watch again it’s right here: -


See videos and/or photos from other years as well as the full history of IDS Panto
See the history of the IDS Pantomime from 1973-2015

Email us any of your own photos to share at alumni@ids.ac.uk

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