Potted Panto

potted-panto

A James Seabright production at Garrick Theatre (venue)

27 December 2020 (released)

3 d

This production of Potted Panto might herald the 10th year of its life, but it fizzes and bursts with new fun and is the perfect antidote to the Winter blues. In 70 minutes it gives us a whirlwind ride through 5 of the most popular pantomimes and a blast of Dickensian London when A Christmas Carol gets mashed up with Aladdin. It builds incredibly well ,started low key with minimal costume and props for Jack and the Beanstalk, to getting more slapstick and complete including a delightful double costume for the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella.

Most of the parts are played with gusto by Dan Clarkson and Jefferson Turner and their experience of working together, for a number of years, allows them to adlib and bounce off each other in a totally engaging manner. They are like the Ant and Dec of abridged theatre.

In 2020 we can never get away from the pandemic struggles and absurdities of a government trying to cope with an ever changing world. This is recognised and injected in clever and witty ways throughout. This entertains the adults, and the fun of mashing up and updating the fairytale stories goes down brilliantly with the youngster in us all. This could so easily be a simple parody of pantomime, but it cleverly holds a mirror up to the absurdities that exist in such set pieces as It’s behind you!, and booing the Baddie that are the core of British Pantomime.

There a so many images in this piece that stay with you and make you smile when later recalling what you have been bombarded with. The French Fairy Godchicken, the persistant Prince Charming, and Boris as Dick Whittington are some that immediately spring to mind.

Although most of the characters are played by Dan And Jeff, they are ably supported by Jacob Jackson and Charlotte Payne who also have their moments in the spotlight.

As we look forward to a hopefully better 2021 this is the vaccine to a difficult Winter.

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