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One & Other - Review: Robin Hood and his Merry Mam!

Mon 17 Dec 2012

Written by Vicky Parry

 

York’s loudest, wackiest panto returns for its 34th year. Berwick Kaler’s annual pantomime at York Theatre Royal is for many a highlight of the festive season; last night’s audience included a baby in its pram and a ninety something year old lady celebrating her birthday.  

Kaler’s panto has become something of a local legend where people return year after year hungry for more of the same, filling the theatre each night, enhancing the magical atmosphere with good natured heckling and singing along! It’s traditional pantomime/good old British humour at its very best, which Kaler both writes and directs along with Damian Cruden.

Many pantomimes in recent years rely predominantly on celebrity guest stars. Kaler’s pantomime discards this crowd pulling method, relying on good old fashioned writing with daft jokes and innuendo. It harks back to a more traditional pantomime where your belly aches with laughter. Year after year Kaler assembles a cast of actors who habitually return to the merriment. As regular villain of the piece David Leonard is otherwise engaged as Miss Trunchbull, terrorising the audience of Matilda in The West End we are introduced to the dark side of Jonathan Race; hamming it up beautifully as the dastardly Sheriff Hutton.

This year pantomime is set in Hamalot and surrounding Sherwood Forest, there is a wonderful Olympian Archery Contest involving two ‘lucky’ members of the audience taking part in the tournament. Mrs Hood’s costumes are an absolute treat to behold; her finale number incorporating the York 800 logo was simply stunning.

The panto is pure escapism, a real tonic, you laugh yourself silly. If you are lucky enough to have booked a ticket – you’re in for a treat. Brilliantly surreal, wonderfully daft!

The pantomime runs until 2nd February 2013.

Read the review on the One & Other website.

 

 

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