Thursday, 20 December 2012

THE STAGE | Panto Round Up 2012


The rest of those The Stage panto reviews...


Sleeping Beauty
Published Friday 14 December 2012 at 10:58 by Susie Wild

"As usual the New Theatre bang out the bling and special effects in their big budget, long-running pantomime. This season’s festive fairytale Sleeping Beauty is packed full of fireworks, twinkle-twinkle starry nights, flying bicycles, tarzan-rope swinging, curtain-clinging, Batman and Robin and four can-canning penguins."



Published Friday 14 December 2012 at 11:02 by Susie Wild

"Babes in the Wood meets Robin Hood in this traditional, touring Owen Money panto vehicle. Based on an old English ballad, the story sees the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham plot to have his niece Samantha and nephew Simon killed, resulting in the two children being abandoned deep within Sherwood Forest where the Big Bad Wolf lives. But all is not doom and gloom as slapstick comedy, bad Christmas cracker jokes, considered costumes and strong songs ensure the kids are kept laughing."


Robin Hood
Published Friday 14 December 2012 at 11:04 by Susie Wild

"Robin Hood (Torchwood’s Daniel Llewelyn-Williams) and his band of merry men and women arrive in Newport for a tolerable panto season turn of duels, campfire sing songs and forest romance. Last year’s Buttons (Keiron Self) plays the likeable Much, inviting us all to join his fantastic gang."



Cinderella
Published Monday 17 December 2012 at 12:33 by Susie Wild

"Swansea Grand Theatre is celebrating its 100th pantomime this year, and a glance around its Arts Wing exhibition of posters and photographs through the decades shows some top household names playing villains, dames and fairytale princesses - worth a look."

The Snow Tiger
Published Monday 17 December 2012 at 10:32 by Susie Wild

"In a small village beside a frozen lake lives a little boy called Usko who loves to be told his favourite story about the snow tiger, who lives on the mountain, and his daughter Little Bear - the loveliest, happiest little tiger that ever there was."

Thursday, 6 December 2012

THE STAGE REVIEW | PETER PAN

Peter Pan

Published Thursday 6 December 2012 at 14:51 by Susie Wild
Sherman’s modernised story focuses on the experience of Wendy, a teenage girl growing up painfully fast. Rebecca Newham makes a confident stage debut complimented by a well-voiced cast and original songs with a Disney film feel.
A scene from Peter Pan at the Sherman Cymru, Cardiff
A scene from Peter Pan at the Sherman Cymru, CardiffPhoto: Farrows Creative
Taunted by her brothers for owning her first bra, Wendy is left alone on Christmas Eve while her dad sneaks off to the pub. Feeling old enough to begin to understand the bigger questions in life but given none of the answers at home, she is whisked away to Neverland by mischeivous charmer Peter Pan (Joshua Considine). There she shifts identity from sweet mother homemaker for Adam Ant and the Lost Boys in part one, to rock chick pirate Black Heart, fighting out her teenage angst as the Captain’s right hook woman in part two.
Stereotypes are subverted to good effect at the start, as Michael (Meilir Rhys Williams) is overjoyed to have a male fairy for their tree, and Tink is described as androdgenous. Lucy Osborne’s ribbon forest is a delight, as are the multimedia effects which have us ‘flying’ with Peter and Wendy over cities, and through constellations. A charming - if rather dark and adult - show which could do with more humour throughout to keep the youngest viewers enthralled.

Production information

Sherman Cymru, Cardiff, December 5-January 5
Author:
Rob Evans
Director:
Rois�n McBrinn
Producer:
Sherman Cymru
Cast includes:
Joshua Considine, Russell Gomer, Rebecca Newman, Meilir Rhys Williams, Daniel Graham, Adam Scales, Kyle Rees
Running time:
2hr 20mins
Production information can change over the run of the show.

Read the review on The Stage website: http://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/review.php/37815/peter-pan

Monday, 3 December 2012

THE STAGE REVIEW | ALADDIN, ABERDARE

I am going to seven pantomimes and festive shows for The Stage this year. Here is my review of Pantomime Number One

Aladdin

Published Monday 3 December 2012 at 11:37 by Susie Wild
Aberdare’s Aladdin combines Eastern magic, mummies and genies with plenty of rub-a-dub-dub. Last year’s ugly sister Frank Vickers once again dames up wonderfully as Widow Twankey, with more costume changes than the Oscars - highlights including a camel and ingenious variations on rotary washing lines thanks to the BA (Hons) costume staff and students from Coleg Morgannwg.
Also trying to have a rub, but this time of the magic lamp, not the royal laundry, is Baker Boys’ Richard Corgan, making his evil panto debut by playing Abanazar as a Shakespearean villain - cue lots of silly jokes based on mispronouncing his name - ‘Av a banana’, ‘Abergavenny’ and so on.
Lower budget than the big city pantos, this production’s sets are less flashy, but a stronger adaptation of the script to localise the plot provides plenty of laughs, while stage fireworks and a flying magic carpet ensure there is much to entertain small kids and their big kid parents.
Eye candy for mums and grans comes in the boy band forms of Tom Richards - a former X Factor contestant who plays the glittery-chested Genie of the Lamp - and Maxwell James (The Adventures of Sancho Panza) as Aladdin, who both prove more than competent on vocals.
Natalie Morgan’s bossy Princess Jasmine provides lovely vocals some of the time, while Amy Coombes slightly over-eggs the Genie of the Ring. Zoe Davies and Richie Gooding are tongue-in-cheek comic caricatures as the police double act PC Ping and PC Pong, and Gavin Nelson jests as Wishee Washee with some hit-and-miss b-boy interludes.




See it on The Stage website: http://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/review.php/37777/aladdin