I agree with just about everything Cassox says here. It did flag a little form time to time but isn't that what "pantos" do? From the moment The Man in Pink appears we embarked on an enchanting romp through pantoland with a twist of music hall for good measure. Previous productions I've seen by Katie Mitchell I haven't rated at all, but not so with this one. Stand out performances were from Justin Salinger as delightfully sly Pink Man, Kate Duchêne as his brow beaten side-kick Cecile and Mark Arends as The Beast. There were many children in the audience tonight who all seemed to be enjoying themselves. The NT proving yet again it can take on the commercial theatre at it's own game and beat it. I would have scored it 5, but those moments when it flagged knocked it back a point. - rds
04 Jan 11
I'm not sure what i was expecting with this. Actually i did. White open spaces, a bit of a curtain blowing in a dusty arch, perhaps a french aristocratic aura of disillusionment, but behold, Katie Mitchell has embraced high campery and and the former and married them in one of the best children's show of all time. Perhaps.
This is a glorious interactive piece of music hall story telling. It's not the tongue in cheekery of bad panto, but rather an extraordinary homage to the best parts of audience participation. Lucy Kirkwood (London's most underused and underrated writers, she is pushing it now at 27, her career is almost over you see, people want plays about st trininas on heroin written by 15 years olds)'s text is delightful, but it drags a little in places, but when it's good it's very VERY good and delights in it's aura of 'adults only' innuendos without being distastefully naff.
Mortimers sets are beautiful, and you can tell by the gasps of the children in the audience that they're really not expecting something quite as polished or grand when it's eventually revealed.
Lots of adults cried during Beauty and beasts courtship, and lots of children cried 'EURGHHHHHHHH KISSING' at appropriate moments which m,eans they are learning something other than bits of french which are thrown in for good measure. My only gripe really is that there should have been a full cast 'number' at the end as the show sort of peters off cilter and has a mornfull feeling to it. Knowing Mitchell, this is probably intentional, but couldn't help but yearn for it. Maybe this is her genius stroke. Who knows. I admit i cried a little, only because i hadn't done it myself and i am perpetually cynical and bitter. But this is a delight and i'm going back on monday to see if it was just an off day, or if this really is a work of sublime christmas creativity.
Whatsonstage.com - Discount London theatre tickets, theatre news and reviews, Theatre videos, Theatre discussion, National Theatre Listings. Covering London's West End, all of Theatreland and all UK theatre. The best
for London Theatre Ticket Discounts.