HURRAH! Panto is back at the Hippodrome after last years enforced shutdown.
Framed in a zillion twinkling lights and under the baton of Robert Willis MD of the Hippodrome Orchestra, it’s the welcome return of the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd.
Oh yes we’ve missed him too – The Grand Ringmaster of panto himself Matt Slack is back after a few days of Covid isolation. Matt is joined by legendry Aussie Jason Donovan as the evil Count Ramsay and the one and only Doreen Tipton, as the lazy Lion Tamer in ‘Goldilocks and the Bears.’
Then there’s Andrew Ryan as circus owner Dame Betty Barnum who is literally a walking wardrobe plus the delightful Alexia McIntosh as Candy Floss her assistant,
Completing the principals and in the title roles are the gorgeous Samantha Dorrance as Goldilocks, Ewan Goddard as Daddy Bear, Georgina Anderson as mummy Bear and Jessica Daugirda as Baby Bear.
Well actually to be honest it may be called ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ but it’s really a full on variety show with just a nod and a wink to the original story. ‘Who’s been sleeping my bed’ is but the sandwich filling between magical magician Phil Hitchcock and Peter Pavlov and his death-defying globe of speed bikers.
The plot comprises Donovan’s wicked Count trying to steal the three bears and Goldilocks and Co stopping him – oops I’ve given away the ending.
There is no principal boy falling in love with principal girl stuff – rather just in-your-face entertainment with plenty of audience participation and abundance of business to laugh and cringe at. There are some fabulous special effects including a giant elephant waving it’s trunk over the front rows plus lions of both jungle and nautical varieties.
This is as ‘brash as it gets panto’ with the primary objective of making sure the audience has a good time. In that it is mission accomplished, with everyone on their feet at the end and I’m sure broad grins under the masks. I defy anyone not to enjoy this cacophony of old time vaudeville and modern FX.
It’s the best panto in town – oh yes it is! Book – Go – Enjoy!
Goldilocks and the Three Bears runs until January 30. Click here for times, tickets and more information.
Review by Euan Rose.