Billed as “The Princess Bride meets a critique of Stalin (and present-day counterparts) via Team America”, I was pretty excited about the idea of Tangram Theatre’s The Dragon.
Singin’ in the Rain is one of those rare musicals that began life as a hugely popular movie before transferring to the stage, originally in 1983.
It is a sad fact but it has to be said that the only redeeming qualities of this inane and dull production are the special effects of the beanstalk being magically conjured up from a rubbish bin in Act I and the giant’s appearance in Act II.
At a time of year when fairy-tale treasures are cheerfully plundered for feel-good family shows, Carol Ann Duffy’s story about what would happen in the absence of comforting ‘happy ever afters’ gives us pause for thought.
Glyn Kerslake seems to have taken root at Salisbury Playhouse with numerous appearances in main house shows and this, his fourth Christmas appearance, in the theatre’s alternative seasonal offering for grown-ups.
Many pantomimes follow a formula - a tale as old as time, pop songs, cultural references, smut for the adults, the inclusion of cute kids and traditional skits - often forgetting the one key factor to bring it all to life: theatrical magic.
It is interesting to catch Christmas shows for children that reference pantomime tradition but veer away from the formula in surprising ways.
While the majority of British towns and cities choose to build their pantomime around a star vehicle, they’re doing it differently in Wellingborough.
There are quite a few nice touches to Paul Holman Associates’ script for Aladdin, but not enough to lift this production above the ordinary.
UK Productions has a wealth of pantomime scripts, sets and costumes, and any theatre buying in to its tried and tested recipes are sure to enjoy a delicious taste of traditional British Christmas fare.
There are few major pantomimes so central to London as this Aladdin and yet Plummer Wood Productions’ has an agreeable, parochial feel to it.
There may be no Baron Hardup or Dandini and only one ugly sister, but this modest production makes up for what it lacks in cast members with vim, energy and sheer hard work.
After a couple of vintage years, it’s a shame to report that Peter Pan is one of the Norwich Theatre Royal’s periodic exercises in going through the motions.
Following on from the Orange Tree’s dark urban thriller Pomona, which caused quite a stir with its no-holds-barred language and themes, this revival of Bernard Shaw’s first play, from 1892, would seem to return the venue to traditional, safer territory - not so.
As the first stage version of Neil Gaiman’s classic book, and following on the heels of an epic film version, this adaptation has taken on quite a task.