great show at the matinee this afternoon. Pity that Pauline Collins wasnt in it. But Sandi Toksvig was magifient together with the rest of the excellent cast. Must say that all the audience appeared to enjoy it too. Don't take any notice of all the bad reviews. I think that the somewhat pompous reviewers must have seen a different show at a different theatre........get a ticket while you can and go see it, is my advice. - David
09 Jan 08
A wonderful reworking of panto for grown-ups, with just the right mixture of smart and smut. I did wonder if the whole thing was really that entertaining for small children, as a large part of the humour would have gone right over their heads (in fact, today was about the only time I have managed to forgive restless chattering from an audience!). However, the characters all came across as so individual and likeable, rather than the lazy, tick-box types normally found in panto. The only exception to this for me was the Ugly Sisters, who seemed wedged between traditional boo-hiss villains and a more modern chavette stereotype of the Jade Goody variety. In the end, they didn't seem to live up to either.
All in all, there was so much happening, and the jokes came so thick and fast, that I wish it would run for longer in order to be able to catch it a second time. - Dan
06 Jan 08
Don't be put off my the sniffy 'posh panto' reviews, obsessed with the 'gayness' of it all (come on, critics, its 2007!) . This is high quality panto but above all a great deal of fun. The crowd were rowdier than the legendary Stratford East crowd and the actors responded with great enthusiasm (even though it was the second performance of the day and the last in a long week!). Paul Keating must be one of the best Buttons ever and his chemistry with Sandi Toksvig was terrific. The ugly sisters are are a great double act - and very post-modern ! - Gareth James
24 Dec 07
The previous review was spot on but I must mention the genius in casting the multi-talented Joseph Millson as Prince Charming. I find it interesting that only the initial press reviews were tepid. Subsequent reviewers from The Independent, The FT, Radio 4 Saturday Review among a number of others, have loved every minute of the production. As did my theatre comapnion and I. We will both be seeing it again, with families this time, and cant wait. - kls
19 Dec 07
Well we loved it, despite feeling some trepidation after reading the critics' tepid responses. Perhaps we are irredeemably vulgar and ridiculously easily amused? Yes, it had some over-the-top smartarse remarks, only to be expected from the pen of Stephen Fry, but these were delivered with self-depracating humour that, in my view, removed all hint of patronage (and sent me scurrying to my dictionary once I got home, never a bad thing). Panto has always been screamingly camp, so it was a nice change to have an openly gay subplot, and why not? Loved all the affectionate digs at "Serena" McKellen. All the participants were enthusiastic and hugely energetic, and having Pauline Collins as a rough cockney Fairy Godmother was a stroke of genius. The standout, though, was Sandi Toksvig, who attacked her part with real relish and was a great hit with all the children we had brought with us. Yes, it was enormously rude, but if you didn't already have a filthy mind, you wouldn't get the jokes; I imagine very few five-year-olds were corrupted by the removal of Ian McKellen's merkin from the bag during the cooking scene. Brilliant, bawdy, funny. - LDE
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