This is a show that scores impressively in all departments, combining traditional panto values with some clever tweaks. Who would have thought that Herman the Henchman, for instance, could ever be played in a manner other than that of a dark, evil, brute? But here the role is handled in a delightfully camp and comic way by Britain’s Got Talent graduate Philip Green who throws in some of his trademark impersonations without making them seem out of place.
Adam Daye presents another surprise as the slimmest Dame Dolly Dumpling you are ever likely to see, yet he still manages to make her funny. There are some fine singing voices on display, not least courtesy of Nicki French as an excellent Queen Grizelda, as well as the suitably handsome Jonathan Ansell as Prince Christopher, though his sound levels are at times a tad too loud.
The ghost scene, that reliable comic set-piece, is underplayed and doesn’t allow for much audience participation but, generally, Mike Newman Jnr’s Muddles fills that role admirably.
Tight direction and a crisp script ensures a good pace is maintained throughout. Other delights include some outstanding dance sequences, glittering costumes and classy set design.