ComedyReviewSouth West

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

Devised by: The Company
Director: Adam Fuller
Reviewer: Chris Oldham

Self-referential, stylised and undeniably slick though they may be, there’s something about a Guy Ritchie film that has always been ripe for parody.

In Goldilock, Stock, and Three Smoking Bears, director Adam Fuller and the four-strong cast who devised it have created a nugget of finely-tuned comic theatre using the fairytale Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Ritchie’s 1998 game-changer, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, comprising songs, in-jokes, dozens of costume changes, and some very rude humour involving chairs.

Goldilock (Emma Keaveney-Roys) is a sweet-natured East End market trader with cash flow issues. When a simple job delivering some furniture for local gangland boss Harry (Harry Humberstone) presents an opportunity for her to escape her struggles, she realises she’d be a fool not to take advantage. Doing so, however, means upsetting three extremely privileged bears, two warped Scottish oat-makers, and Harry himself.

Blending the film’s style of fast-paced, eloquent cockney dialogue, freeze-frame voice overs, and multiple plot threads, Goldilock feels much more than just subversion. There’s an intelligence lurking behind all the hilarity. Through some sterling lighting and sound design from Edmund McKay and Ben Osborn respectively, the cast even manages to recreate one of Ritchie’s trademark card game montages with staggering accuracy.

The cast too, each in multiple roles, delivers some rather brilliant character work. Lotte Allan’s finest creation must surely be Barry, Harry’s right-hand man. Meanwhile, as both Vinnie and Paddy, Andrew Kingston proves that a little subtlety can go a long way. When she’s not embodying crazy Scot Sally, as Goldilock, Keaveney-Roys is a scaled back, self-referential heroine, who’s never afraid to pick holes in the fairytale in which she’s taking part – why exactly do three tubs of porridge presumably prepared at the same time vary so greatly in temperature, for example? Rounding out the cast, Humberstone is almost untouchable as both Harry, the monstrous crime-lord with an obsession with chairs, and sloany stoner Winston.

Although having played as the Wardrobe Theatre’s Christmas show in 2015, Goldilock is much more than a pantomime. And though only back for a limited run this August, this one feels very much like a keeper

Runs until 13 August 2016| Image: Contributed

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