Reviews

Aladdin

Aladdin

On a cold, rainy January afternoon, the perfect antidote was to be found in Otterbourne Village Hall, where Otterbourne Theatre Company’s Aladdin, which runs over this and next weekend, is currently spreading plenty of laughter and cheer. From the moment we enter the auditorium, even the pre-show lighting reflects the setting of the show, which opened last night. Despite the odd mistimed cue, this is a production that’s hit its stride splendidly, offering terrific value for money. OTC Pantomimes have an excellent reputation, and it’s no surprise that the run is very well booked throughout. Settings and costumes are spectacular,
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Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Like Goldilocks, I’ve tried all three types of pantomime. The lavish production starring Damian This from Eastenders and Kelly That from Emmerdale is too brash. The tiny village hall with stumbling actors and lots of in-jokes can be wearisome for an outsider. A panto like Broadstone’s, on the other hand, is just right: small enough to be intimate but big enough to reach a certain standard and to offer a good couple of hours’ entertainment for everyone. Keeping up that standard and that level of entertainment is Broadstone Pantomime Productions’ latest production, Sleeping Beauty. Ron Kite, who also plays the
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Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood

Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood

It’s that time of year again. Oh yes, it is. Christmas is “behind you” and it’s Panto Season!! All Saints have elected to fuse the classic Babes In The Wood with a Robin Hood story. Written and directed by Phil Vivian, it is classic, hard working, amateur society fayre and it has all the energy you would hope for and expect from All Saints. You know the Robin Hood story, right? Locksley, Sherwood Forest, Merry Men, Marian, Sheriff, all that; well, add to that a couple of young children under threat from the baddie, and you’ve got your fusion right
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Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

An almost uniquely and glorious British phenomena, the ever popular Pantomime season has been in full swing for several weeks already and continues through to the end of January or thereabouts. The importance of Pantomimes for the vitality and financial viability of local and national live theatre (professional and amateur productions alike) cannot be underestimated: for some people the annual outing to the ‘Panto’ will be their only encounter with live theatre, and many budding actors, dancers or singers are given their first opportunity to perform in front of a public audience in a Pantomime. So, with the Christmas festivities
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Alice In Wonderland

Alice In Wonderland

Whilst my fellow reviewers were off out reviewing festive shows, I took on Alice In Wonderland, performed by the very well-known Arena Theatre, and I must confess to being rather excited at the prospect of seeing the classic performed on the stage. Most people know the story of Alice In Wonderland, and if you don’t, I’m not sure how you’ve missed it over the years. The play follows the story of Alice as she struggles with the pressure of growing up and the expectations of the adults around her. She finds herself in a fantasy world with a host of
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It Feels Like Christmas

It Feels Like Christmas

There are a number of components intrinsic to the Christmas festive period, whether wished for dreams or actual reality: families and friends getting together, picturesque snow scenes, Christmas decorations and festive lights, pantomimes, presents, traditional Christmas food and drink, Christmas music playlists – and, of course, Christmas concerts. Concerts can be a rather ‘love it or hate it’ creation for regular musical theatre enthusiasts – too static for those who love the big dance production numbers, musically mediocre compared to full shows (nothing to ‘hide’ behind vocally), without a flowing narrative or plot, lacking in the scenery, costumes, lighting and
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