Mother Goose Review

Cambridge Arts Theatre, Cambridge – until Sunday 7th January 2024

Reviewed by Steph Lott


Al Lockhart-Morley’s adaptation of “Mother Goose” at the Cambridge Arts Theatre, under the direction of Michael Gattrell, is a whimsical and joyous pantomime that enchants audiences of all ages. Starring Matt Crosby as Gertie Goose, ably assisted by Steven Roberts as Sammy Goose, this production is a feathered extravaganza that soars to delightful heights, delivering laughs, heart, and a healthy dose of holiday magic.

Lockhart-Morley’s script cleverly weaves the classic tale of Mother Goose with a contemporary twist, infusing the story with witty dialogue and modern Cambridge references that keep the audience engaged from start to finish. The pacing is spot-on, maintaining a lively tempo that ensures there’s never a dull moment. The script strikes a perfect balance between humour for the kids and cheeky jokes that adults can appreciate, creating a genuinely inclusive experience for the entire family.

Director Michael Gattrell’s vision for the production is magical. The stage comes alive with vibrant colours, whimsical set designs, and imaginative costumes that transport the audience into the fantastical world of Mother Goose. Each scene seamlessly flows into the next, maintaining the energy and excitement throughout the performance. The choreography by Kevan Allen, adds an extra layer of spectacle, with lively dance numbers that showcase the talents of the entire cast.

Matt Crosby, in the role of Gertie Goose, is, as always, an absolute delight. His comedic timing is impeccable, and his physicality brings an endearing charm to the character. Crosby effortlessly connects with the audience, eliciting laughter with every pose and pout. He creates a genuine sense of connection that is the hallmark of great panto performances.

Steven Roberts as Sammy Goose is truly endearing. Roberts brings a charming energy to the stage, engaging the audience with his infectious enthusiasm. His comedic exchanges with Gertie are wonderful, including the occasional off script moment!

It’s hard to pick out individuals from the rest of cast as they were all great! Charlotte Wakefield as Fairy Virtue and Pippa Duffy as Demon Vanity belted out their numbers in great style, but for me my favourite was Georgia Nicholson taking the stage as Priscilla the Goose! Each gurn and waddle had the audience in the palm of her… wing?

The hardworking ensemble danced their way through the night with sparkle, smiles, and flair. The inclusion of children from the audience adds an extra layer of charm, which is another hallmark of traditional pantomime.

In conclusion, “Mother Goose” at the Cambridge Arts Theatre is a festive treat for audiences seeking a blend of laughter, spectacle, and heart-warming moments. Al Lockhart-Morley’s script, Michael Gattrell’s direction, and the stellar performances of Matt Crosby and Steven Roberts make this pantomime a standout holiday extravaganza. It’s a feathered feast of fun that takes flight and captures the essence of the season, leaving the audience with a warm, fuzzy feeling that lingers long after the final curtain falls.