Harlequinade is a very British, comic, theatrical performance, in which the Harlequin and the Clown play the principle parts. It developed in England between the 17th and mid 19th centuries. Originally a slapstick variant of the Commedia dell'arte the characters grew into pantomime staples.
Originally a mime act with music and dance the Harlequinade was primarily a visual spectacle, and comic finale. Often elaborately staged with spectacular transformation scenes. By the late 19th century the Harlequinade had become the larger part of the entertainment featuring much song and dance, speciality acts and magical scenery. Although we no longer see the Harlequinade in it's truest form the spirit of the characters live on in todays pantomime.