Christmas – ‘tis the season to be jolly – and that means Pantomimes. Pantomimes are such a popular part of Britain’s festive season that everyone will most likely have attended one at one point, as a child, a parent, or even as one of those multiple offenders: a teacher! The list of reasons why one has to go to a panto are vast; and I guarantee, everyone will have found a reason to go to one at some time.
They’re impossible not to enjoy – literally two hours of packed amusement, dames, songs, spectacles – pantos are designed to entertain wide ranges of audience members. Children take delight from the easy to relate to characters and simple plotlines whilst adults can indulge in understanding the many innuendos that breeze over children’s heads. The Kings’ Panto fulfilled and excelled in all these boxes. Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and Grant Stott head the cast as usual, with the trio on the top of their game, they prove to be firm favourites with the audience, especially the children. Stott’s evil Queen garners the most vocal responses from the audience, receiving boos whenever ‘she’ enters the stage – a sign ‘she’s’ hitting the mark!
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is such a well-known fairy tale it allows the panto to skim the plot and just follow the outlines of the basic story. The cast were blatantly talented, Frances Mayli McCann – running straight into the lead role of Snow White after a hugely successful run in the National Theatre Scotland’s tour of Our ladies of Perpetual Succour – is easily the most vocally talented. She definitely deserved more time on stage then her role allowed. Her prince Greg Barrowman matches her enthusiasm and his voice is wonderful though sometimes not best suited to the styles of song he had to sing. The seven dwarves were hilarious and truly Scottish – with Scottish slang and bawdy jokes the seven men steal the stage whenever they come on.
Allan Stewart’s Nurse May, the dame, is brilliant played, although occasionally alongside Andy Gray’s Hector, their dumb daft act gets a little tiring. It sometimes leads to the panto rhythm becoming a little stilted as we wait for a long drawn out comedy sequence to end. However generally it lends itself to the humour of the piece. Stott definitely stole the spotlight as the Wicked Queen. ‘Her’ duet with the Prince is rib-breakingly funny and has the whole audience rolling in their seats. Stott fully embraces the role and plays the diva to the max!
The set was incredible, numerous backdrops flew in and out creating the different scenes and tech worked impeccably alongside to effect all the magical scene changes. The Twins FX went above and beyond the call of duty to create some spectacular animatronics and set pieces for the Panto. Expect to see an actually flying reindeer, a huge t-rex and a fantastic spinning magic mirror that attempts to bring Disney and Pixar to the stage for all theatre to see! This Kings’ panto definitely makes full use of that huge budget and makes use of it well.
It was impossible not to laugh during this pantomime, there truly was something for everyone. The fantastic effects, music (although a tad loud), choreography and talented cast combined to make it the perfect panto.
Running until the Sunday 17th January 2016 this is something you do not want to miss! Treat yourself to a spectacle before or after Christmas and enjoy it – it’s impossible not too!