Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Mother Goose review at Belgrade Theatre Coventry

This is one of the prettiest pantos you could wish for.

Mark J Walters has created a splendid set which is highlighted with sparkle dust and the carefully-painted scenes are expertly done. The effect is like looking into a children’s pop-up book and for any imaginative child it will doubtless provide a creative stimulus long after the Christmas tree baubles are packed away.

Andy Hockley makes a congenial, roly-poly Mother Goose heading for the breadline. “We’re so poor we can’t even pay attention,” she laments, and we are immediately on her side. Particularly when she confronts the greedy Squire Skinflint (William Finkenrath) who ups the rent every time he appears.

In fact, it is the naughty squire who gets the funniest scene of the evening. The golden eggs multiply, but Squire Skinflint cannot get them away fast enough – they are too heavy. An audience stooge is brought in, and that little bit of expert gagging was superb – one of the better moments in what seemed an unduly long evening.

Ian Knauer’s gorgeously-dressed Demon King is an imposing aristocrat from the dark side who has wicked passions, a fine sense of character and the ability to handle a script.

The young dancers move well enough and Priscilla the Goose has everyone on her side throughout the evening.

Production Information

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, December 8-January 7

Iain Lauchlan, Will Brenton
Iain Lauchlan
Belgrade Theatre Coventry
Andy Hockley, Ian Knauer, Danni Cormack, Tara Dixon, William Finkenrath, Charlie Ryan
Running time
2hrs 30mins

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price