As to be expected from a Hiss and Boo production, this is a fast moving, happy show, rooted in tradition yet laced with the contemporary elements expected by a modern day audience.
Full of topical references – such as the struggle of Spurs football team and local landmarks – Nick Mowat’s script also finds room for plenty of tried and tested gags which still work within a well constructed pantomime format.
Old favourites such as the kitchen scene and the ghost sit comfortably alongside nice variations on themes, for instance a shopping channel slant on The 12 Days of Christmas. The dance routines are inventively choreographed, involving everyone and turning the stage into a sea of colour and movement. The revival of Wilson, Keppel and Betty’s hilarious sand dance is especially welcome.
Nicola Blackman as a Caribbean fairy and Dee Tails as a very hip Cat raise some smiles but the two shining lights in an able cast are without doubt Antony Howes and Ian Adams as Idle Jack and the Dame. This pair of seasoned pros create instant rapport with the audience, Howes connecting with his dopey humour, engaging smile, accents and tap dancing, while Adams brings monstrous yet vulnerable authority to his role. The musical direction is competently handled by Laurence Payne.
Millfield Arts Centre, December 1-January 9
- Nick Mowat
- Ian Adams
- Ian Liston
- Cast includes
- Nicola Blackman, Vas Constanti, Antony Howes, Nina Millns, Tim Hudson, Ian Adams, Jonathan Le Billon, Dee Tails, Sam Attwater, Kirsty Smith, Tiffany Todd, Darren Tough
- Running time