Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
It is true that pantomime needs to move with the
times and this year the Marlowe has gone out of its way to be contemporary.
Songs by The Darkness and Busted, wedged into the fairytale, are not obvious
combinations and do not always sit comfortably.
Toyah Willcox as the evil Carabosse carries off
her numbers with professionalism and maintains the energetic baddie throughout.
Credit too to Lucy Sinclair as Beauty, producing strong vocals. However,
her first scene, recreating Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time, dispels
any allusions that she is sweet and demure.
Jack Ryder - Jamie from Eastenders - as Prince
Charming and making his debut in pantomime, seems uncomfortable with the
idea and needs to relax into the role. Dave Lee returns, this time as Nurse
Dollop and pairs well with Paul Ferguson’s sprightly Pickles. Good to see
Aimee Holden too, making a delightful flying Lilac Fairy.
Members of the young chorus, under the choreography
of Sarah Dean, show polish in their dancing and interact well together.
Jenna Blease’s ice-skating scene was an accomplished addition.
Kevin Wood’s alternative slant on some of the
traditional conventions is to be congratulated but there needs to be a
balance in order for it to work and at times the magic of pantomime is
lost in the quest to be different.
Review by Lisa Whitbread
Management: Marlowe Theatre in association with
Kevin Wood Pantomimes Limited
Cast: Jack Ryder, Toyah Willcox, Dave Lee
Director: Kevin Wood
Lighting: Dee Ashworth
Costumes: Helga Wood, also design
Choreography: Sarah Dean
Musical Direction: Chris Wong