Oldham Coliseum, Manchester – until 9 January 2016
Pantomime is always a huge amount of fun for any creative team to work on and this year’s festive offering from the team at Oldham Coliseum is a sparkling example of this. Mother Goose offers all of the traditional pantomime fun – with audience interaction at its core, all your favourite current chart hits and hilariously messy slapstick – there is much for little ones and their grown-ups to enjoy this Christmas at Oldham Coliseum.
The story of Mother Goose has been co-written by Artistic Director Kevin Shaw and our nominal dame, Fine Time Fontayne – while the story maintains its timeless appeal, many of the comic sequences and gags zap the show giving a fresh take on the old classic tale. Mother Goose is poor until she finds Priscilla, a magical goose who lays golden eggs. Now that Mother Goose no longer has to worry about money – she wants to be young and beautiful – but will her new-found wealth, beauty and youth bring happiness?
This pantomime has a superb range of musical numbers incorporating contemporary pop music and well known show tunes. With a funky soundtrack featuring The Jackson 5, Defying Gravity from Wicked and a humorous ditty which incorporates the names of stops on the Metrolink line – there is plenty for the audience to clap along to.
Alongside Fine Time Fontayne there is a host of Oldham Coliseum regulars – Richard J Fletcher is a comical success as the accident prone Billy Goose with Justine Elizabeth Bailey playing his sensible older brother Colin Goose. Andonis Anthony excels as evil baddie The Demon of Discontent – with no prompting needed to rally the audience into a booing and hissing frenzy. The chorus dancers deserve a special mention also, animated and light on their feet, filling the stage with energy.Fine Time Fontayne is a superb pantomime dame with an exceptional costume designer, Celia Perkins. With an array of over-the-top frocks and vibrant Doc Martens, Mother Goose could easily have been peeled from the pages of a story book. Under Kevin Shaw’s direction, costume changes occur off stage as well as in full view of the audience – in a clever illusion Mother goose disappears through revolving doors only to reappear immediately looking just like Kim Kardashian. Well almost.
Once again the Oldham Coliseum have egg-ceeded themselves and produced a most egg-cellent pantomime. With plenty of laugh out loud moments and opportunities to sing along, Mother Goose is packed with festive cheer and is certain to get all of the family warmed up for Christmas.
Mother Goose is on at Oldham Coliseum until Saturday 9th January 2016.