The regular return of pantomime production teams to the same theatre is usually a sure-fire marker, and Evolution Pantomimes’ vibrant production for the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil owes much of its engaging success to experienced hands.
Paul Hendy is in his seventh year of writing and producing for the Octagon, and it will be no surprise at all next month if this pleasing combination of panto tradition, West End-quality musical numbers, and a generous helping of no less than three comedians, doesn’t break last year’s Cinderella box office record.
Several of the cast are returnees as well, including West Country comedian Jack Glanville, whose Wishee Washee brings an eager audience on board at every opportunity, Thom Ford’s stylish Abanazar constantly quoting Shakespeare, and Lizzie Frances at her most yokel as the Spirit of the Ring.
The trio of comics is completed by Gordon Cooper’s irrepressible Widow Twankey and George Akid’s PC Pongo, more involved in the action than usual, especially in the messiest Twelve Days of Christmas you are ever likely to see.
Another local lad, Jonny Purchase cuts a rather more mature figure than some as Aladdin, but this plainly doesn’t put off Sorsha Talbot-Hunt’s engaging Princess.