As an American, I hope my British friends will forgive me when I say that pantomime is an acquired taste – and one that I, for one, have simply never acquired. But you don’t have to like panto to love this wonderfully potty potted version of it, which arrives at the West End’s proscenium arch Vaudeville Theatre just in time for Christmas (surely a better time and place to see it than in August at the Edinburgh Fringe’s Pleasance Courtyard, a converted student leisure centre).
Potted Panto is zany, naughty and deliciously festive fun for all ages, complete with a 3D horse carriage race, a sick fountain display that the two-year-old cherub next to me was keen to demonstrate, Boris gags, projectile poo and a singalonga competition. Huzzah for potted partners in crime, Dan and Jeff. If all pantomime was this enjoyable, they’d have a convert here.
- Terri Paddock
NOTE: The following FOUR-STAR review dates from August 2010 and this production’s original run at the Edinburgh Festival.
There has been Potted Potter, Potted Pirates, Potted Meat (oh no there wasn't!) and now Potted Panto. CBBC's Dan and Jeff take a whirlwind tour of Pantoland, giving us their bite-sized versions of Cinderella, Aladdin, Dick Whittington and a few more.
Along the way, they incorporate and explain the main pantomime traditions, more or less, and actually teach the audience a little bit about the art form. Of course, the main object is for their young audience (and the adults they have invited along with them) to have fun and we do. The show is colourful, fast-paced, entertaining and includes poo jokes.
Dan and Jeff strike up an instant rapport with the audience and are very good performers, never patronising. Dan is a Pythonesque clown and Jeff, a little more the straight man. There is a bit of slapstick, quick changes, a neat little panto set and lots of good jokes.