Reviewed by Kerry Cooper
Director Hydri Payne has resurrected her first written pantomime from 1989 for a new audience. In fairytale fashion, this production provides a sugary sweet story set in Santa’s Christmas Lodge.
Although the surrounding kingdom of enchantment is a cheery place, this is threatened by the arrival of Dame Danglebury played deliciously by Jason Lokan and her son Dexter brought to life by Illy O’Leary. Dexter has stolen Santa’s sack of magic dust and it is a race against time to get it back so the invitations can go out for Santa’s party. Lead by Edward Elf played by Dan Needham, the pixies and elves go in search of the dastardly Dexter.
With an abundance of colour and a caricature storybook set the large cast do well to navigate the small stage. The simple lighting plot works well and the vibrant costumes are a highlight.
A pantomime is not complete without audience participation and this is encouraged successfully by the pixie twins, played enthusiastically by Susie Cherry and Joanna Bell. Sweet performances were offered by the youngest cast members Bethany Ling and Arivian Thompson.
Christmas carols were sung with a modern twist and although some voices were stronger than others, it was hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm of the performers on stage.
Pantomime is a fantastic starter for children who have never seen a theatre production. The frivolity is infectious!
This is definitely a show for the young or possibly the young at heart.