Grand Opera House, York (venue)
17 December 2019 (released)
17 December 2019
The jokes might be nearly as old as the walls that surround York, but this years pantomime at the Grand Theatre is one for all the family.
Most pantomimes these days rely on a big production, big stars and a lot of special effects – this production has none of these – the biggest star is Vicki Michelle from TV’s Allo Allo, a phrase that she greets the audience with when she first appears on stage.
Relying on a good old fashioned routine on slapstick, classic jokes and expert timing with 7 dwarfs that are so believable, the panto has the younger members of the audience on the edge of their seats.
The jokes are topical with Brexit, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson’s new cabinet getting a mention – though there are not many jokes that have any innuendo in them, so no one can be offended.
Martin Daniels as Muddles is perfect as the court jester – he has some magical tricks up his sleeve too.
Mark Little as Lord Chancellor of Trumpville played a very theatrical role with the stand off between him and the Wicked Queen (Vicki Michelle) providing some of the funniest moments of the night.
Steve Wickenden as Nurse Brexit was a natural – he has played the Dame many times in the York pantomimes and his experience shone through. Saucy perhaps at times, many of his routines harked back to the good old days of the music hall tradition.
The chemistry between Prince Ruldolph (Jonny Muir) and Snow White (Louise Henry) seemed to improve as the show went on. Minster FM breakfast presenter Ben Fry seemed to be a convincing Town Cryer.
There were plenty of opportunities to Boo and Hiss and even a special appearance from Strictly Come Dancing star Debbie McGhee when she makes a surprise cameo appearance as the Fairy inside the magic mirror.
The younger members of the audience appeared to enjoy the night and after all – that is what pantomimes are all about (oh yes it is!)
Runs until Saturday 4 January 2020.