Theatre Royal Windsor – until 6th January 2019
Reviewed by Heather Chalkley
Steven Blakeley and Robert Miles have written a great script with a good balance of traditional panto, interwoven with present day songs, plenty of bawdy humour and slapstick jokes. Basil Brush is timeless and sets Windsor’s panto apart from the crowd, alongside awesome vocals from Marti Webb (Fairy Bowbells) and Megan Jones (Alice Fitzwarren). Anita Harris (Queen Rat) made a devilishly classy villain – we could have had another song from her perhaps. Apart from the surprise rock ‘n’ roll number from Mike Read (Alderman Fitzwarren/Captain Fisheye), he was a bit lacklustre throughout and needs lessons in musical comedy theatre!
Stars of the show for me were Kevin Cruise (Idle Jack) and Steven Blakeley (Sarah the Cook), bringing the full panto experience to life with their ad libbing and great comic timing. Sarah the Cook had me laughing from the moment she came on to the stage. Idle Jack’s Abba scene got the whole audience to their feet and dancing. My only slight disappointment, I have seen the classic 12 Days of Christmas and ‘it’s behind you’ scenes delivered better, however they still got
the audience to spontaneously participate.
The costumes gave life to the caricatures and proper glamour and glitz throughout. The young performers and ensemble really lit up the show with their professionally delivered dance routines. The production team took full advantage of the beautiful old theatre, celebrating 80 years of panto there this year! An all round family entertaining performance.