King’s Head Theatre, London – until 6 January 2018
The Charles Court Opera return to the King’s Head Theatre with their latest (hilarious) new pantomime King Tut. My first question is who managed to dig up all these ancient jokes about Egypt up? Sorry – I couldn’t resist! But as always with Charles Court Opera’s inventive and hilarious pantomimes, it is difficult not to get caught up in the mad adventure that they have created.
In this refreshing new show, King Tut sees Howard Carter and his friends Clive the Camel, King Tut and Evelyn embark on an adventure to stop the evil Lord Conniving from carrying out his evil plans and return to 1922 – with plenty of singing and dancing along the way of course!
The story devised by John Savournin and David Eaton is typically increasingly mad and bewildering, with a sharp script to match that has plenty of wit and of course groan-worthy jokes involving chiropractors and such. Due to this sharpness, the whole production has a great deal of pace and energy that is consistent throughout as the audience increasingly wonder where exactly this quirky pantomime is heading.
There are also some great characters to enjoy such as Philip Lee’s Clive the Camel whose liveliness and loyalty to King Tut is able to put a smile on the faces of all, while Matt RJ Ward as Howard Carter is charming to watch in the way in which he nervously handles talking to Evelyn (leading to some unfortunate wind situations). Meanwhile, John Savournin as Lord Conniving is suitably over the top and a true pantomime villain who really encourages to audience to boo him at all times.
It has to be said that it is a production that does well with the limited space that it is given – particularly during the lively song and dance numbers, which are enthusiastically performed by all and enjoyable to watch. But it is also all the more popular cultural references that have been put in that really fit into the story well – even a nice little Bruce Forsyth tribute thrown in that livens the audience up even further.
Some of the changes between scenes could have been slightly smoother and considering this is a pantomime aimed at both adults and children (but this was an adult only performance) it felt as though there were too many references to ‘mummies and daddies’ that can slightly become tiresome at times. But, despite this Charles Court Opera once again prove that pantomime doesn’t need to rely on the same stories to be entertaining at Christmas.
This is a lively, entertaining and fun pantomime that kicks off the festive season with style.
King Tut continues to play at the King’s Head Theatre until the 6th January 2018.