The star of this low key, traditional panto is the giant - a gorgeously grotesque green and brown 10 foot tall puppet operated from within, closely followed by a rather splendid two person, ginger and white pantomime cow.
Other highish spots include the singing of apple-cheeked, fresh faced Coralie Hughes as the princess although she’s weak in the lower register and Nick Beat whose Simple Simon is played in a childlike high voice, lots of naivety and no brashness which grows on you as the show progresses. The chorus of children is well drilled and imaginatively choreographed too.
Otherwise there’s a lot of lacklustre stuff. Matty Hurst’s Jack is a drip and it’s very difficult to see why the princess is so taken with him. His singing is patchy and his acting is not strong. Paul Mills’ Dame Trott is often unfunny in the first half although warms up a little in the second half especially during a music hall number with the children and in the ghost and ghoulie scene. The slapstick interlude with Beat is, however, very flat and there’s over-reliance on a gauze curtain in lieu of special effects.
Billed as “traditional” this show is, sadly, just that. It’s probably a reflection of the declining fortunes of Theatre Royal Margate that it could host a Christmas show so traditionally second rate.