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.
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