That gives designer Diego Pitarch the chance to go to town with variations on the ubiquitous Carnaby Street and Mary Quant dress style and the DayGlo stage costumes affected by the likes of the Beatles and Elvis Presley, not to mention their fans and imitators. The basic set itself is more muted in tone, though infected with a whole gallery of clocks. There's a clever nod in the direction of 19th century stage costumes in the bustled outfits sported by Fairy Fanciful (Esther Biddle) and Morgana (Karen Mann).
Rowe has presented Fanciful with an apprentice, Fredericka. Sarah Mahoney makes this Mallory Towers escapee a whirlwind of pigtails and mis-matched socks, wielding her wand as though it was a hockey-stick. She's the best-written character in the whole piece. Our heroine is Princess Susie, with whom Lily Howard does as much as is possible; the prince who rescues her turns out to the the pleasant-enough foundling Simon Steadfast (Peter Manchester) brought up by Will Kenning's rough-edged Dame Taffeta Trott.
Director Rob Salmon makes full use of
the theatre's grave-traps and, of course, a New Wolsey pantomime
wouldn't be the same without a full complement of rod puppet
livestock – the hard-working stage managers and crew thoroughly
deserve their own round of applause. All the cast step easily from
spotlighted performer to instrumentalist and vocalist. The best
numbers are "Happy birthday, sweet sixteen" and Simon's
prize song "Stand by me". Sean Kingsley's King Camelot
displays tap-dancing ability as well as a tonsorial variation on Don