Things are extremely busy over here in show meltdown land, but as a bit of distraction I’ve attempted to keep up some of my annual holiday time theatre going. So, for those in need of some cheering up and rediscovery of inner youth, here’s the four big holiday shows I’ve seen in the last month:
Aladdin @ Hackney Empire
This is my third year attending the Hackney panto and every year it’s a gem and a total treat. The script is tight, the jokes brilliant, and the cast on tip top form. And Clive’s even throwing sweets into the audience again. Really, nothing else to say besides SEE THIS.
Rock 'n' Roll Aladdin @ The Shaw
The cast of actor-musicians give it their all and this is a fun show, but the script is middle of the road and very paint by numbers. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to those who don’t want to travel all the way to Wimbledon though. Especially if you prefer 50’s-70’s rock instead of most of the bits and bobs that get pinched for panto these days.
Morecambe @ The Duchess
I fully admit that I’m too young to really have appreciated this. It’s very nice, but there’s no real dramatic tension (Morecambe and Wise both led rather squeaky clean lives) and the humour feels old and dated now, especially since it’s a double act done by one. See it if you’re nostalgic, otherwise stay home and watch Morecambe and Wise clips on YouTube for an hour - especially the Mastermind segment. I think I laughed more at that than the entire show...
Dick Barton: Quantum of Porridge @ Croydon Warehouse
My second Dick Barton show, and one well worth the rather long journey out to Croydon for. Sharp gags, a plot twist in every scene, and some real creativity in the staging. Sure to join Hackney’s panto as one of my Christmas time traditions. See it if you can.