Pros: Hilariously abstract performance and concept, eccentric costumes and set, and a fantastic venue to boot.
Cons: The second half seemed a little slower and lacked the quick comedy aspects that the first half thrived on.
Greeted by a live pianist, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and a warm friendly reception I felt that Rosemary Branch Theatre was the perfect setting for Clementine’s Seasonal Spectacular. Who knew this 15 inch bundle of sass and charisma could bring so much festive cheer to a night out at the pub?! For one evening, you must be willing to enter a theatre with no preconception of what you are going to see, lose all your inhibitions and let the performance take you on a journey.
Depending on the date, the performance will either be child friendly or adult friendly. Your choice of company is the perfect way to decide which version you would like to see. I was fortunate enough to see the Adults Only version and was delighted throughout. The first act consisted of cabaret acts from various characters, hosted by the wonderful Clementine herself. Interweaved we saw a few of the stories that would reignite later on in the evening, and a number of Clementine’s own renditions. With appearances from a Giant Fly, a Rockin’ Rooster and many other dysfunctional characters, this cabaret was a great success.
Brilliant Puppeteer skills and entertaining personalities from Mark Mander, Stewart W Fraser, Lesa Gillespie and Clare Rebekah Pointing brought that extra bit more to the show, making it truly unmissable. The voices of various characters and the music that accompanied many of the cabaret-esque acts was also just wonderful. Mark Mander’s unforgettable performance as the formidable Clementine was extraordinary. With eyelashes thicker than most people’s carpets this fabulous performance made the entire production an absolute scream.
The use of lighting and set was on point. No need for any more or any less. Their array of puppets and costumes is every child’s perfect toy box.
The second act of the performance was more of a pantomime based performance, borrowing a few of the characters from Snow White but with their own twist on the conventional tale: they took up the narrative reigns from “and they all lived happily ever after.” Being on such a high from the beginning of the show I was expecting a lot from the characters in the second half. Whilst still witty and outstandingly comical, the second act didn’t seem to flow or keep me as engaged as I would have liked. Luckily, this act was much shorter than the first and didn’t deter from the excellent night of fun and frolics.
Whether you choose to attend with your children or go with a group of friends, you are absolutely sure not to be disappointed with your evening. There is a Christmas treat for all in this show, and maybe even a surprise visit from Santa himself…
Writer: Mark Mander
Director: Mark Mander
Co Artistic Directors: Cecilia Darker and Cleo Sylvestre
Booking Until: 10 January 2015
Box Office: 020 7704 6665
Booking Link: http://rosemarybranch.com/index.php