Mother Goose Review

Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham – until 7th January 2024

Reviewed by Jacqui Radford


Mother Goose may not be the most well-known pantomime but as one that places the Dame as the title role, it is one that showcases everything that we associate with pantomime and its reliance on having a Dame in the cast. The role of Mother Goose as the Dame is taken on by Tweedy, adding acrobatics to the role as well as comedy and innuendo.

The storyline centres around Mother Goose facing the eviction from her family farm after leaving the circus and losing her income. Just as you’d expect in any pantomime, her misfortune cues the competition between good and evil, pitting vanity against the need to preserve a family home. A circus performer at heart, Mother Goose has her head turned by Demon Vanity.

As with all good pantomimes, this Everyman Theatre production plays well with local reference throughout. The Good Fairy of Gloucestershire delivers fortune in the guise of a golden egg laying goose. Mother Goose’s children are aptly named Caleb and Clarkson and plenty of reference is made to villages around Cheltenham.

Tweedy brings pure exaggeration to the role of a pantomime Dame, taking every opportunity to push the boundaries of adult humour, slapstick and audience involvement. For the children, there is plenty of foolish humour, outrageous costume and nail-biting circus performance.

The most impressive elements of this production are in the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ approach promised in the introduction. An extensive combination of impressive circus skills, songs that anybody can sing along to enthusiastically, glittering costume and dance and laughter throughout leave you looking forward to the next pantomime production.