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Potted Panto review at Vaudeville London

The comic potential of condensing long, well-known stories into short bursts of surreal performance has been exploited for years by the likes of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, but still continues to entertain. Having picked up an Olivier nomination for best entertainment in 2011, Potted Panto is back in the West End for a third year, squeezing seven pantomime stories into 90 minutes.

Best known as CBBC presenters, Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner are an excellent comic pairing, with Turner playing the straight man whose earnest efforts to stage a pantomime are undermined by his dim-witted colleague. Clarkson seeks recognition for the Queen’s Christmas Day speech as a pantomime, suffers a series of wardrobe mix-ups and takes every opportunity to dunk Turner in a cream pie or slap him across the face.

Parents who want to introduce their children to the joy of traditional panto or relive their own childhood memories may be disappointed by this fast-paced reinvention. However, young new-comers to Christmas entertainment are unlikely to have such hang-ups and the success of the show is clear in the children’s eagerness to contribute and engage with the actors, even when they are not prompted to do so.

Production Information

Vaudeville, London, December 14-January 5

Authors
Daniel Clarkson, Richard Hurst, Jefferson Turner
Director
Richard Hurst
Producer
Seabright Productions
Cast
Daniel Clarkson, Jefferson Turner, Joanna Bool, Tom McCarron
Running time
1hr 30mins

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