Writer: Iain Gordon
Director: Iain Gordon
Reviewer: Fraser MacDonald
Following on from the success of Elfie, the lovable Christmas Elf from last year’s panto, The Pavilion welcomes him back for an adventure like no other. This year’s offering will entertain the whole family and fill even the most cynical of hearts with Christmas cheer.
On a quest to save Christmas, Elfie (Liam Dolan) is joined by his Mammy (Craig Glover) and his pal Fairy Snowflake (Nicola Park) on a journey to far and distant lands. Followed by the evil Useless (Ewan Cameron) and Smart (Cat Harvey), Elfie’s Magical Adventure is filled with fun, family friendly frolics, and sing-a-long Christmas classics.
As has become a tradition at Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre, with an original script by Iain Gordon, Elfie’s Magical Adventures is tailored specifically to its Glasgow audience. In this production, the plot comes at best, in second place. Rather, the focus is on entertainment and, overall, the show is a real success because of this. Classic Christmas hits like Santa Claus Is Coming To Town are lapped up by the crowd and slapstick is equally balanced with innuendo without crossing any lines.
The cast, many of whom are now Pavilion favourites, engages well with the audience, as is so crucial in pantomime. Newcomer Ewan Cameron has some time to serve yet in his apprenticeship, whereas local TV favourite Graydo seems to relish his position as panto newbie, stalwarts Nicola Park and Liam Dolan make sure that the show is in good hands. A sizable adult and youth chorus is a welcome addition and is a nice visual spectacle in many scenes. As ever, technology is embraced, and effects are frequent and spectacular. Pyrotechnics are not delivered in half measures and lighting effects add a real magic to the show.
The main criticism of the production lies in its running time; although a bumper two and a half hours long, the show does tend to trail along towards the end, with its penultimate scene (a boxing match) seemingly never-ending. This somewhat spoils an otherwise captivating night, although, with a rousing sing-a-long to finish, its flaws are easily forgotten.
Elfie’s Magical Christmas is undoubtedly one of Glasgow’s best value pantomimes, with accessible ticket prices and a mammoth run ahead, it would be hard to argue that The Pavilion’s offering is not the perfect helping of panto this Christmas.
Runs until 15 January 2017 | Image: Contributed