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PETER PAN – Belfast

In Opinion, Pantomimes, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Olivia MitchellLeave a Comment

Staged amid visually attractive cut-out sets that transported the audience to a world of wonder in such locations as The Darlings’ nursery, Neverland, Crocodile Creek, on board a pirate ship and beneath the sea, this production had a lot to offer with a talking bra, some super soakers, a giant gorilla and jokes about a mermaid’s shell phone all proving popular with the young audience.

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THE PITMAN PAINTERS – Oldham

In Manchester, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

The Pitmen Painters is a true story following a group of men from the mining community as they rediscover and reflect on their world through art. Written by Lee Hall, best known for Billy Elliot, the play follows The Ashington Group from their first art appreciation class in the old army hut to exhibiting in national galleries and gaining critical acclaim.

HETTY FEATHER – The Lowry

In Children's theatre, Manchester, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

Hetty Feather was left by her mother at the London Foundling Hospital as a newborn baby. Written by best-selling author Jacqueline Wilson, Hetty Feather traces the life and experiences of a foundling child – her experience in foster care, her dalliances with the travelling circus and her return into education at the Foundling Hospital. Hetty is a feisty little thing – kindhearted, intelligent and imaginative- we follow her story as she battles to overcome all odds in the search to find her real mother.

MIRROR MIRROR: A SNOW WHITE PANTOMINE – King’s Head Theatre

In Comedy, London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

They are new to the King’s Head, but Charles Court Opera aren’t new to pantomime. This year’s Mirror Mirror: A Snow White Pantomime is their ninth “boutique” panto. Though an opera company, this show and cast of six are anything but stereotypical opera fare. John Savournin’s script is fresh and witty, the performances are camp and vibrant, and the re-written pop song soundtrack is so well sung that it deserves a cast recording. There’s plenty of typical panto interaction, made easier and more personal in a fringe venue but doesn’t overwhelm the space, either. Though the costumes are detailed and fun, the set is a bit analog and takes up a lot of playing space, restricting movement and choreography. Some of the performances were more genuine than others, but this remains a wonderfully current panto with excellent writing.

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ROBINSON CRUSOE & THE PIRATES – Edinburgh

In Children's theatre, Opinion, Pantomimes, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Scotland, Touring by Thom DibdinLeave a Comment

The script, an off-the-shelf affair by Paul Reakes, has all of the necessary elements for a pantomime, which are attempted with relish and energy. Certainly pirates feature much more largely than any elements of Crusoe in a storyline that owes much more to Treasure Island than to Defoe. It is a somewhat dry affair, with the interpolated local gags failing to lift it too much above ordinary.

SNOW WHTE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS – Edinburgh

In Musicals, News, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Scotland, Touring by Thom DibdinLeave a Comment

Professional pantomime is not the place to go for new theatrical techniques or stunning insights into the human condition.

Instead, what should be expected is a sequence of familiar routines done as well as they can possibly be. This is what is achieved by this year’s King’s effort, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, featuring the established team of Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and Grant Stott.

ALADDIN – Churchill Theatre

In London theatre, Musicals, Plays, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

The arrival of Christmas in Bromley is well and truly heralded by the opening of Aladdin at the Churchill Theatre.
Starring Scott Maslen as the villain Abanazar, Jess Robinson as Slave of the Ring and Bobby Crush as Widow Twankey, Aladdin is a glittering and fast-paced extravaganza, providing a memorable retelling of the classic story.