ComedyDramaFestive 15/16ReviewSouth West

Goldilock, Stock and Three Smoking Bears – The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol

Devised by: The Wardrobe Theatre Company
Director: Adam Fuller
Reviewer: Chris White

So here it is; this is Christmas. The Wardrobe Theatre has a new home in Old Market, and the company are back with their annual alternative Christmas show. This year, Goldilock, Stock and Three Smoking Bears; a cockney-riddled retelling of the classic fairy tale.

The show is – as always – pretty madcap. Perhaps this year more so than ever. Whereas in previous years the shows have followed the structure of films such as Se7en or Die Hard, Goldilock is more of a general homage to the works of Guy Ritchie, with a nursery-rhyme twist. Goldy is an East End trader trying to scrape by when she gets caught up in a slightly complicated plot about three bears, a chair-obsessed gangster and a porridge shop heist.

The tight-knit cast of four does a remarkable job of bringing the 11 characters to life – maybe not always with absolute conviction but with lots of energy and frequent nods to their multi-rolling. Emma Keaveney-Roys is particularly fantastic switching between the hapless Goldilock, the deranged porridge maker Morag and Sally (who – as she says – is something of a subplot).

A lot of the show’s hilarity comes from its very knowing, self-deprecating naffness; there’s one particularly beautiful moment of probably the worst onstage murder you’ll ever see. But above all this there are some really fantastic characters, ingenious gags and wonderful references to Guy Ritchie and the British gangster movie. There’s also some half-hearted audience interaction, a chance to buy some knocked-off gear and a couple of really funny songs from the ever-brilliant Ben Osborn. Honestly, it might not be the strongest Christmas show the Wardrobe has done, but it’s still hilarious and a thoroughly entertaining evening.

It has to be mentioned that the new space itself at Old Market is phenomenal. The stage is really dynamic and well-designed, and the theatre is equipped with a fantastic bar, great food, even live music. All in all, Goldilock is a perfect celebration of the year the Wardrobe has had, and a wonderful show to be christening the new theatre with.

Runs until 17 January 2016 | Image: Contributed

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