Before Qdos Entertainment ventured into the London Palladium , the shinning jewel in it’s pantomime crown was at the Birmingham Hippodrome.
It’s still a stunner of a show, full of outlandish spectacle with a rich vein of local humour mined by the venue’s regular comedy entertainer Matt Slack.
Slack is an irrepressible physical and vocal comedian and pantomime is a perfect fit. His cheeky humour has broad family appeal and his remarkable energy feeds a show already glittering with big names and bigger frocks. Wolverhampton-born Beverley Knight delivers soaring vocals in her pantomime debut as the Fairy Godmother and proves a sport when called upon to play stooge to the Grumbleweeds.
Yet for all the comedy, Michael Harrison’s astute direction ensures that the romance remains centre stage. Suzanne Shaw is a sweet yet determined Cinderella and Danny Mac’s Strictly credentials guarantee plenty of fancy footwork at this Prince Charming’s ball.
Ceri Dupree and David Dale are wonderfully grotesque Ugly Sisters but they side-step much of the usual knockabout comedy in favour of some rather fabulous costumes. The big laughs are provided by Slack, who in the last five years has made himself an indispensable part of Christmas in the Midlands.