1519. The husband gets more and more angry, and the third character, playing the role of the son, is trying to drag his father away from his mother. The scene builds to a climax, and the fish pie falls on to the floor. The fact that the pie falls on the floor is the entire point of the skit, and the mirth is provided only by the extreme horror of the actors at the sight.
1520. That fish pie fell on the floor to the horror of the spectators, approximately a thousand years ago. The description of the event, and the laughter it produced is not possible to understand at the present time. Eyes and ears trained and attuned to the entertainments we have at our disposal, are simply deaf and dumb to what it was that put tears in the eyes of uneducated peasants living in a benighted time.
1521. Take for example the very words “fish pie,” what do those two words mean to you and I. Something in the freezer compartments of a supermarket? If it falls on the floor, take another out of the freezer. But a thousand years ago, fish had to be found. You can see where this line of reasoning leads, a fish pie then was not the same as a fish pie now, it was something to care about.
1522. As for the gestures and facial expressions displayed by our performers, what it looked like, and what it signified could perhaps be seen occasionally in the old silent films, but after that time the art disappeared almost entirely from the world. It was not pantomime exactly, because words and phrases were used, but only when absolutely necessary on the assumption that two hundred miles from ones home were sufficient for one not to be understood.