Posts Tagged ‘pantomime’

Review – Cinderella, London Palladium

Friday 6 January 2017

palladiummainPhil saw his first Palladium pantomime 31 years ago, which also turned out to be the venue’s last Cinderella and its penultimate pantomime for decades. Babes in the Wood was its last for almost 30 years – what ever happened to that title? Or Puss in Boots? Or Humpty Dumpty? Or Goldilocks and the Three Bears come to that?

That 1985 Cinderella included Hope & Keen, John Junkin, Paul Nicholas and Des O’ Connor who was rather brilliant at managing to keep the thing afloat. Just. There were real ponies, Step Sisters (they eschewed calling them the Ugly Sisters even then) called Cagney and Lacey and Dame Anna Neagle who died a few months after struggling on as the Fairy Godmother.

It was a pretty lacklustre affair, never reaching the dizzying heights of spectacle Phil expected of Palladium panto legend. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review – Peter Pan, New Wimbledon Theatre

Friday 11 December 2015

28837_fullIt’s not just us is it?

We think the usher who stopped a man humming along at Sunny Afternoon the other day should be given a promotion.

The man in question stropped out of the Harold Pinter Theatre in a huff. Who was he? Did he attend the Bianca Jagger School of Theatre Etiqutte?

Didn’t they teach him he should have gone to a pantomime. It’s the only time of the year we steel ourselves to be tolerant in the theatre, find our forbearing genes and accept the place will be full of kids and parents, talking, screaming, turning on phones and waving things around that light up. We just have to go with it, even indulge in some of it ourselves. Including the singing. Next year Phil promises to buy Andrew a flashing tiara.

But Peter Pan? Well, in our book it’s not a proper panto. It really should carry the warning that Peter Pan Goes Wrong‘s poster does, “This is not a panto”.  There’s no dame and a story that doesn’t sit well within the panto format. Which was a shame as Phil and Andrew brought along Brent, who is older than both of them (!) and experiencing pantomime for the very first time. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Cinderella, New Wimbledon Theatre

Wednesday 10 December 2014

22614_fullOf course we were there for Sue Ellen.

Even Andrew was there for Sue Ellen. Actually that should probably just read “even Andrew was there”. You see, we’re of an age.

But if Linda Grey had not found her panto legs (she does – expect her in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester or wherever next Christmas) as a stetson-toting, hip flask-swigging Fairy Godmother there was a very strong pit crew to see her through to the finishing line. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Jack and the Beanstalk, Southwark Playhouse

Saturday 21 December 2013

Southwark-Playhouse“Have you ever seen Puss in Boots?” Andrew asked Phil recently.

We probably don’t have the kind of conversations typical chaps might have in or out of the boozer. We do not discuss, football, rugby, cricket or golf and we cannot compare the relative acceleration of our cars as we do not possess one between us.

For instance our Stephen Ward post-show conversation – once we had done a bit of necessary fact-checking on the Profumo Affair – somehow led us on to the cast lists of films including On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and almost as inexplicably Disney’s Lt. Robinson Crusoe and the difference between the acting Nancys (or is that Nancies?) Kwan and Kulp. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Aladdin with Jo Brand, New Wimbledon Theatre

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Aladdin-New-WimbledonWhat ain’t we got? We ain’t got dames apparently.

If you’ve been perturbed by recent news reports that the panto dame is on the endangered species list then head off to the New Wimbledon Theatre for a dose of Aladdin.

Even if the principal boy is no longer played by a woman, we never see a slosh scene, health and safety prevents sweets being thrown into the auditorium and the song sheet seems to be generally lost to the past there is no danger of dame-flatlining here. Tradition is kept gloriously intact with an array of outrageous costumes and wigs inhabited by the wonderful Matthew Kelly, proving that there is nothing quite like a panto dame. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Priscilla Presley, New Wimbledon Theatre

Saturday 22 December 2012

Snow_White_And_The_Seven_DwarfsDisney’s animated version celebrated its 75th anniversary on the very day the world was due to end. With apparently only a few days left to fill, Andrew was ratcheting the Whingers up into fully festive panto mode.

Phil declined Andrew’s offer of a flashing fairy wand at the gift shop so Andrew tried to engage with with a little game. “What would your name be if you were one of the seven dwarfs?” he asked. Unsurprisingly it didn’t take long for the Whingers to rechristen themselves with the interchangeable monikers of Sloshed and Tiddly.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs* had an awful lot to beat, let alone live up to. The New Wimbledon’s last panto starred the irrepressible Dame Edna dipping her heels into the genre for the first time with enormous success. But the theatre that is now celebrated for its splendidly off-the-wall seasonal casting now features someone who is not only making their first panto appearance, but, at the age of 67, her first ever stage appearance to boot. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Dame Edna in Dick Whittington, New Wimbledon Theatre

Thursday 15 December 2011

The Whingers were faced with a tough decision this Christmas. Phil’s sister thought that given this blog’s occasional reference to the imaginary Dilton Marsh Players the least the Whingers could do was drop by Wiltshire to take in their seasonal offering.

For although originally believed to exist only in the Whingers’ imagination it turns out they are as real as you and us although actually called the Dilton Players. This dedicated troupe of dedicated players numbers more than 40 and they DO present an annual panto*. Apologies due. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Dick Whittington with Joan Collins, Birmingham Hippodrome

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, Birmingham: few had the tenacity and spirit of endurance to face the trials and tribulations involved in this pilgrimage but the Whingers did. You can, as many do, say what you like about us but don’t say we don’t work hard.

For it was with gusto that the Whingers took on a city at a virtual standstill due to Saturday’s inclement weather in order to witness Joan Collins‘ panto début.

Frankly we would have hitched a ride on the back of a snow plough to be there.

As it was Phil had come fully prepared with a sackful of provisions, extra thermals, heated hair curlers and what ever else may have been needed to get the Whingers through a night stuck on a train somewhere between London and what used to be called Britain’s second city.

But we made it. We saw the very first appearance of La Collins in a pantomime.

Others were not so lucky. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Peter Pan, New Wimbledon Theatre

Monday 20 December 2010

To say that to die seemed an awfully big adventure might have been overstating things but by the interval of  Peter Pan it was certainly beginning to feel preferable to sitting through any more of the New Wimbledon Theatre‘s panto.

Well, it’s panto, but not as we know it. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Potted Panto, Vaudeville Theatre

Monday 13 December 2010

Described as “seven classic pantos in eighty minutes” Potted Panto features six classic pantos and another traditional Christmas show in 95 minutes (including interval).

It’s performed by “CBBC’s Dan and Jeff”, CBBC being something akin to Watch With Mother . It seems Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner are the Patricia Driscoll and Vera McKechnie of their day. Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Cinderella with Mickey Rooney, Milton Keynes Theatre

Sunday 6 December 2009

Yes you read that right – Milton Keynes.

What could possibly have dragged the Whingers there? Well the clue is in the title. Mickey Rooney (aged 89). The Mickey Rooney!! Oh and er… Anthea Turner (aged 49), (Perfect Housewife).

But Mickey Rooney! Yes, Mickey’s putting on the show right here in the barn that is the admirably prosaically titled Milton Keynes Theatre (aged 10). Because it is a bit of a barn, to be honest: three tiers and a capacity of 1,400.

This was an awfully big adventure for the Whingers: Phil (64) had never been to Milton Keynes;  Andrew (16 going on 17) had visited once before but couldn’t for the life of him think why. But with MK only a £14, 30-minute Virgin train ride away (well, 45 minutes as it turned out) the Whingers thought, “what the hell!” Mickey Rooney! Read the rest of this entry »