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Forum Seminar Room 08, University of Exeter

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Exe-X South West Alumnae Group event: Professor Kate Newey - “Look out – he/she’s behind you!”

Pantomime, principal boys and other puzzles

An Alumni and supporters event
Date1 February 2022
Time18:30 to 20:00
PlaceForum Seminar Room 08, University of Exeter

Join our informal networking event with Dr Kate Newey, Professor of Theatre History, University of Exeter and socialise with fellow alumnae in the South West.

In a normal year hundreds of thousands of us will have seen at least one panto over the Christmas and winter period and this uniquely British phenomenon is worth an estimated £21m to theatres and their local economies. 

Its enduring appeal would seem to be due to its unchanging traditions but leading drama historian Dr Kate Newey lifts the curtain to look at how pantos such as Cinderella, Puss in Boots and Jack and the Beanstalk have, in fact, adapted in order to survive … and how, in particular, they reflect the changing role of women. 

Why were ‘principal boys’ played by girls – and when did that start to change?
Who was ‘Widow Twankey’ and why would Queen Victoria not been amused?
Why is the story of Aladdin so geographically bizarre? 
And is Dick Whittington’s London really the centre of the world? 

Dr Newey’s research into 18th and 19th century drama, with a focus on female actresses and playwrights, shines a spotlight on this unique theatre phenomenon and how it holds up a mirror to its audiences. 

Our event will start with informal networking including refreshments, a talk by Kate, and will be followed by a question and answer session. This event is also a chance to socialise and network with alumnae in the South West.



This event is FREE with refreshments provided, but seating is limited and so bookings will be taken in order, and after capacity is reached, a waiting list will be created.

Book your place online here

Other details

Refreshments will be provided - tea/coffee/water/juice and a cream tea. 

Parking:  Parking is free anywhere on campus after 6pm, and we recommend you use Car Park C which is closest to the Forum Building (building number 3 on the map). 

ProviderAlumni and supporters

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