You can always rely on the Isle of Man to be creative when it comes to their stamp issues and this year is no exception. As Christmas approaches, the Isle of Man Post Office has just issued six stamps to mark the wonderful British tradition of Pantomime. These colourful and vibrant stamps pay tribute to one of Britain’s long held traditions and they depict images from six of the most famous shows – Peter Pan, Wizard of Ox, Aladdin, Snow White, Dick Whittington and Robin Hood. Images such as Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Robin Hood’s hat, Aladdin’s lamp, Captain Hook’ hook, Dick Whittington’s bag and stick and Snow White’s rosy red apple are all represented in the set.
Although panto has its roots in Ancient Greece, pantomime as we know it today was developed in the mid-19th century as a way of presenting children’s fairy tales. It was Sir Augustus Harris, manager of London’s Drury Lane, who promoted the idea and really got it off the ground and it’s now become an integral part of the British festive season.
If you have been born and raised in the UK there’s a good chance that you have been to a pantomime at some time in your life and these stamps evoke the memories of that experience. Every year across the British Isles there are hundreds of professional and amateur performances of pantos, from local village halls to some of our finest theatres, and it’s great that the Isle of Man Post Office has decided to celebrate the tradition in this way.