Pros: It’s funny, clever and there’s something for everyone. Your children will be uncontrollably giddy upon exit.
Cons: Jaw ache from laughing (and your children will be uncontrollably giddy upon exit).
It’s safe to say that my seven-year-old and I are now thoroughly in the festive spirit after enjoying this frantic and funny, 80-minute performance, celebrating the beloved art of pantomime. Potted Panto is back for the Yuletide season and no tradition, innuendo (safely floating over the heads of the little ones), or dressing up opportunity is missed.
CBBC’s Dan Clarkson and Jefferson Turner are the Olivier nominated duo who created what can only be described as a comic marathon, which romps and races its way through seven of the greatest pantomimes, including: Aladdin, Dick Whittington, Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk.
Dan, the scheming and misbehaving sidekick, is determined to send this series of abridgements into uncharted waters by obstinately shoehorning the Queen’s speech and anything else Christmas related into the script. The non-stop, madcap capers play out on a simple set and it’s a testament to Dan and Jeff’s faultless slapstick comedy and slick performances that the complicated sequences are so successful.
The reaction is loud and full of belly laughs, and there’s a special section which requires participation from the whole audience which my daughter absolutely loved. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a pantomime where the audience was so free of inhibitions. The show is clever and witty, and its unpredictable formula will delight and surprise children (who always enjoy the daft and unexpected).
The resplendent yet cosy Garrick Theatre is the perfect setting for this comforting annual tradition and the flawless chemistry between these two talented performers spreads the seasonal joy throughout the auditorium.
You can expect all of your favourite pantomime characters, group singing, showers of sweets and many more surprises, all to a Christmas excess.
A giddy and daft Christmas cracker. Where is 2016? It’s (almost) BEHIND YOU! Time to shake off last year and embrace the festivities. Merry Christmas!
Writers: Daniel Clarkson, Jefferson Turner and Richard Hurst
Director: Richard Hurst
Box office: 0330 333 4811
Booking link: http://www.garricktheatre.org/potted-panto/
Booking until: 15 January 2017