mon 06/12/2021

pantomime

Album: Iron Maiden - Senjutsu

Iron Maiden are in very many senses as English, as camp and as ridiculous as Christmas pantomime, even down to the “HE’S BEHIND YOU!” looming of their vast onstage zombie mascot Eddie. Which is not to say there’s nothing to them: far from it. Just...

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Dick Whittington, National Theatre at Home review - colourful and amiable entertainment

In a much-depleted and truncated pantomime season that withered on the vine, the National Theatre's debut production of Dick Whittington lasted only four performances before the show was cancelled; it has now released this recording, which will be...

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Pantomimes 2020 round-up: what's available online

Cinderella ****I did worry that pantomime – that most audience-driven of theatrical pursuits – might not work through the tube, but Nottingham Playhouse's warm and funny show dispels any doubts. Pandemic jokes abound (the audience must be smelly...

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Goldilocks and the Three Bears, London Palladium review - joyously filthy fun

When Qdos brought back pantomime to the Palladium three years ago after an absence of nearly 30 years, it set the bar high with superb production values, a large ensemble, a live band – and a stage stuffed with stars. Now those stars – Julian...

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Ian McKellen On Stage, Harold Pinter Theatre review - a master relishes the joy of theatre

Reviewing Ian McKellen's show is, in one sense, like appraising the Taj Mahal or Mount Everest: he too is an awe-inspiring phenomenon. In another sense, Sir Ian is not like that at all, going out of his way to be available to the adoring patrons...

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The Magic Flute, Welsh National Opera review - charming to hear, charmless to look at

I last saw this Magic Flute, directed by Dominic Cooke, when it was new, some 14 years ago, and I remember it mainly, I’m afraid, for its lack of visual charm. Nothing much has changed: the relentless box sets (designer Julian Crouch), not a leaf or...

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Aladdin, New Wimbledon Theatre review - enjoyable but underpowered

Paul Merton has a lot of strings to his bow – stand-up, improv artist, historian of silent-movie-era comedy, quiz-show panellist, to name a few – and now he adds pantomime dame to his CV. He has appeared in television pantos before, but this is his...

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The Merry Wives of Windsor, RSC, Barbican review - panto Shakespeare

For those of us who have never thought much before about links between pantomime and Shakespeare, Fiona Laird’s new Merry Wives offers a chance to see how the combination works. Making short shrift of tradition, her version of the Falstaff comedy...

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Aladdin, Hackney Empire review - Clive Rowe returns as the Dame

Susie McKenna and Steven Edis have been creating pantos for Hackney Empire for 20 years, and over that time its seasonal offering has become the theatre's signature event. To add to the anniversary celebrations, Clive Rowe, who first donned false...

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Dick Whittington, Lyric Hammersmith review - big-hearted fun

In 2009 Sean Holmes, then Lyric Hammersmith's artistic director, made a bold move by reintroducing panto at the lovely Frank Matcham house after a long break. It was a box-office and critical hit, bringing in young audiences and celebrating the...

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Aladdin, Richmond Theatre review - great Dame, weak script

It's always good news when Christopher Biggins announces he's going to don false bosoms again to play a panto Dame, and Aladdin offers lots of frock action in the role of Widow Twankey, Aladdin's washer-woman mum. So hopes were high for this show,...

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Jack and the Beanstalk, New Wimbledon Theatre review - Al Murray's panto debut

It raised some eyebrows when Al Murray announced he was to make his pantomime debut – top comics rarely make that crossover these days – but, considering his alter ego The Pub Landlord is already an over-the-top creation, the character fits right...

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