I often wonder how things start off in life then don’t like the answer. Take Puss in boots, it was once called “The Master Cat” by Charles Perrault and was a French fairy tale about a cat who uses trickery and deceit to gain power, wealth, and the hand of a princess in marriage for his master. But that is a boring and rather a dark story to start a Caturday post, so I like to think that the original writer of the “The Master Cat” once saw his cat actually trying on his boots and was inspired to write a book about it. If he was alive today maybe one of these would be his inspiration…
BONUS CONTENT: Top 10 Facts About Pantomimes
10 – “Yeah I’m borrowing your shoes, have you not seen what the dog does in the garden?”
Fact: The term pantomime originates from the Greek ‘pantomimos’ which was originally a solo dancer who “copied all” (mimic). These performances were often accompanied by songs and instrumental music.
9 – “See! I told you they would look better on me. You just made them look stupid!”
Fact: The Brothers Grimm collected the Snow White story in 1810 and published their first edition in two parts in 1812 and then in 1814. A few years later when they published the second edition of their collection was wildly popular and sold out quickly.
8 – “Summertime + New Sandals = Let’s hit the beach!”
Fact: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first animated feature to become widely successful within the English-speaking world and the first to be filmed in technicolour.
7 – “I need new shoes, something a little bit….more me.”
Fact: Roald Dahl’s book Revolting Rhymes rewrote the Snow White story in a more modern way. In this version, Snow White was a savvy young woman who stole the magic mirror to help the dwarfs gamble on winning horses!
6 – “I am the original puss in boots, all those others are copycats!”
Fact: In some versions of the Snow White story, the dwarfs are robbers, while the magic mirror represents dialogue with the sun or moon!
5 – “…Oh, busted! …I was…uuummmm…keeping them warm for you that is all.”
Fact: It is believed that the first pantomime ever performed was staged at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre in 1714, and was called Harlequin Sorcerer. It was produced by actor John Rich, who is credited with giving pantomime its name.
4 – “I know they are backwards because I intend to walk backwards making them right!”
Fact: The Cinderella story we know today was written by Charles Perrault in 1697, based on a traditional folk tale. Although one well-known element of the tale is the glass slipper the heroine leaves behind her at the ball, it is likely that the slipper was actually made of squirrel fur!
3 – “Are you sure these don’t make me look…big boned?!?”
Fact: It is traditional in pantomime for villains to enter from stage left and heroes from stage right. This dates back to medieval mystery plays, where the left of the stage represented hell and the right, heaven.
2 – “No hang on! We will go jogging, I just need a small 10hr catnap first.”
Fact: Pantomime dames men playing female characters and dressed in outrageous clothing began to appear in panto in the early 19th century, with the renowned clown Joseph Grimaldi playing the baron’s wife in an 1820 performance of Cinderella.
1 – “It is Caturday night, so let’s party girlfriends!!!”
Fact: By the early 1800s, the pantomime’s classical stories were often supplanted by stories adapted from European fairy tales, classic English literature or nursery rhymes.