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Festive

King Tut: A Pyramid Panto – King’s Head Theatre, London

Writer and Director: James Savournin Lyrics and Arrangements: David Eaton Reviewer: Maryam Philpott In the well-trodden panto furrow, genuine innovation is pretty rare, so Charles Court Opera’s latest “Boutique Pantomime” at the King’s Head Theatre is something a bit special. While the political jokes are updated every year and the gender-swapped casting may be de rigueur, the essential elements of ...

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Sleeping Beauty– Theatre Royal, Norwich

Writer and Director: Richard Gauntlett Reviewer: Lu Greer The tree lights are twinkling, presents are being wrapped, and there's still no sign of snow. This can only mean two things: Christmas is coming and Richard Gauntlett has got a giant multi-coloured dress on again. The Theatre Royal Norwich panto is once again written and directed by Gauntlett, with him also taking on ...

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Beauty and the Beast – Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol

Writer: Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve Devised by: New International Encounter, Cambridge Junction and Alex Byrne Director: Alex Byrne Reviewer: Claire Hayes  Bristol’s Tobacco Factory has garnered a deserved reputation for the quality of its family Christmas shows and this year’s playfully quirky Beauty and the Beast is no exception. Think Disney unplugged; New International Encounter (NIE) and Cambridge Junction under the direction ...

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Jack and The Beanstalk – Times Square Pantodrome, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Book, Music and additional Lyrics: Tom Whalley Director: Jamie Owen Gray Reviewer: Anna Ambelez The aptly named Fleshcreep (Stephen Sullivan) opens the show with lots of booing and hissing; a sparkling flask introduces kindly Mother Nature (Karleigh Wright), we are in panto land. Fearless Jack (Adam Thomas), and his feckless brother, Simple Simon (Sam Glen) live in a tiny cottage ...

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White Fang – Park Theatre, London

Writer and director: Jethro Compton Reviewer: Stephen Bates In 2014, Jethro Compton brought his version of the film western The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance to the main stage here at the Park. Clearly a man undaunted by challenges, he now turns to an adaptation of Jack London’s classic 1906 novel White Fang, aiming to evoke its setting, the vast, ...

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Aladdin – Richmond Theatre

Writers: Jonathan Kiley and Alan McHugh Director: Ken Alexander Reviewer: David Guest Biggins is back! That simple statement should be enough to tempt panto fans young and old into cleaning their magic carpets and flying off to Richmond Theatre for what must be one of the slickest, funniest and brassiest seasonal shows this year. Just when we feared the doyen ...

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Pinocchio – National Theatre, London

Writer: Dennis Kelly Director: John Tiffany Reviewer: Richard Maguire The National’s Christmas show Pinocchio is a hybrid affair with The Fox and The Coachman played as old-fashioned pantomime villains while slickly choreographed numbers are straight out of a West End musical. But despite the cast’s best efforts, it’s the wooden actors who steal the show here. The puppet creations designed ...

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Cinderella – Forum Theatre. Chester

Writer:  Peter Swingler: Director: Steve Davies Reviewer: Emma Boswell Set to the perfect snowy backdrop of Chester, Tip Top Productions’ Cinderella pantomime arrives in the Forum Theatre this week. It’s wonderful to see the traditional Christmas panto still thriving in 2017 and this production ticks all the boxes.  The script, written by Peter Swingler OBE is energetic, topical and most ...

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