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Babes in the Wood review at Carnegie Hall Dunfermline

There is a sense of dots being joined at the Carnegie Hall. Everything is in place, from a script with local references and enough of the requisite panto regulars to get those in the know going, to a strong, albeit small, cast who know how to work an audience. Yet Tony Roper has not managed to get anything close to a smooth integration of the elements into a coherent whole.

The real difficulty is the stop-start dynamic of a piece which starts on a low-key note with the dancing troupe – very prettily done but there’s not enough in reserve to get the show going. And by introducing the lovers, Harry Ward’s dunderhead Boabby Hood and Alyson Orr’s shrewish Mari Ann, before we even know where we are, does not help matters.

Ross Stenhouse helps pick up the pace as a decidedly butch Florrie the Forest Fairy, while Stevie Hannan is struggling as a wicked Sheriff who is poorly served by his amplification. Johnny McKnight provides great knockabout value as Thick, as sidekick to his straight man, Vincent Friell’s Thin. Perth Theatre’s set and the juvenile Babes are all well used but the whole lacks glitter and an emphatic punch to it.

Production Information

Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, December 3-26

Author/director
Tony Roper
Producers
Carnegie Hall, Take Two Productions
Cast
Stevie Hannan, Vincent Friell, Johnny McKnight, Alyson Orr, Ross Stenhouse, Harry Ward
Running time
2hrs