Epsom as usual shows that pantomime doesn’t need big-name stars to be a success. Bryn Lucas does a good job as Prince Antonio and Charlotte Steen is a pleasing Snow White, while Leanne Vallance pushes all the right buttons as the Wicked Queen. But it’s the comic acts that are strongest, both Anthony Joblin as loveable Joey the Court Jester, and the double act of Phillip Amato and Simon Montana-Hollosi as Horis and Boris Bloggs. Between the three of them they keep audience members on their toes with very physical performances, not to mention end-to-end gags, though there are too many sketches that fizzle out and don’t seem to go anywhere.
Dancing is of a very high quality, with a ballet sequence as well as the more informal variety. This year’s obligatory crowd-pleaser, Gangnam Style, is Joey’s call sign, so we get a brief snippet of it upwards of 20 times – with more and more of the audience joining in as the show goes on. Eilish Harmon-Beglan, as the Forest Fairy, leads the impressive ballet segment, joined by dancers from Laine Theatre Arts, and there are several spectacular tableaux.
The cast put everything they have into the show, which has energy, enthusiasm, laughter, boos and hisses galore.