I always love the Cheltenham Everyman’s pantomime for it’s perfect traditional-ness. With many panto’s now trying to constantly one up each other with the most spectacular special effects and the rudest jokes, Cheltenham has always done well to remain humble and wholesome.
Even though I feel this year has slightly given in to these temptations that are luring in panto’s everywhere, the team have still a relatively modest and traditional show for families.
The one element I found maybe not too suitable for all ages was the humour, with a lot (maybe even a majority) of the jokes aimed at adults. A lot of it felt a little too crude and uncomfortable and I felt the children were missing out a little as the slapstick and visual humour didn’t really kick in until later in the show.
Of course this came from the star of the show, Tweedy the Clown. His slapstick routine was according to my mum (who is practically a panto expert): “one of the best she has ever seen.” His ice cream song and routine was deliciously innocent and hilariously funny, causing roaring laughter from adult and child alike. Oh and I can’t not mention his additions to the love song which had the audience in stitches. Add this to his already funny demeanor, clever tricks, local references and his pet iron Keith and there are no complaints here.
There was a good variety of music and even some with lyrics cleverly changed by young writer Samuel Holmes to fit the plot. This particularly shone in the number between the very charming Sam Murphy as Prince Charming and the brilliant Kane Verrall as Dandini. I must give Verrall a mention as he was so captivating in his role. Flamboyant and sassy, his enjoyment was infectious and I’ll be keeping an eye out for him in future productions.
Costume-wise I cannot fault the ugly sisters costumes, all themed hilariously and the attention to detail was as ridiculous as they were. The pair worked well but were no match comically for Tweedy. I also felt that I wanted them to be a bit meaner as I wanted something to ‘Boo’ and ‘Hiss’ at.
The special effects were impressive and although this took away from the traditional side of the show, it was worth it to see some of the kids faces as Cinderella took off above their heads. Pure pantomime magic.