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Potted Panto (Bristol)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Did you know that there are only 207 days until Christmas? No neither did I until last night. The last thing I had anticipated doing was sitting and watching pantomime at the end of May, but that’s just what I did – Oh no you didn’t! Oh yes I did! – You see what it’s done to me.

Potted Panto provides an evening of the most wonderful fun and entertainment for all ages. In the course of 80 minutes we see: ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, ‘Dick Whittington’, ‘Snow White’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Cinderella’ and a mélange of ‘Aladdin’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’.

All the action is carried out by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner – two incredibly talented performers - using the most amazing amount of energy. The pace is not just fast – it’s manic. The gags are not just corny – they come out of the ark - but they STILL work. From water sprays to buckets of “horse poo” from audience sing-along to an intense 3D session with the audience driving imaginary teams of horses there is never a dull moment.

Whether you are 3 or 93, I would defy you to leave the theatre without a smile on your face.

Dan and Jeff race through the pantomimes playing all the parts themselves – except for the fairy who appears intermittently but we never find out who she is!

Both these young men are amazing. They not only perform the pantos, but co-wrote them as well. They have the audience enthralled and involved from beginning to end. They mingle with the audience before the show and have everyone captivated with their antics, but they are never patronizing.

The director and co-writer is Richard Hurst, who does an excellent job. I should imagine that directing two people with such enthusiasm and energy could be a blessing or a night-mare! Richard certainly brings out the best.

The set, designed by Simon Scullion is simple but oh so effective, and the lighting, designed by Robin Fisher and the music, composed by Phil Innes adds to the ambience and enjoyment of the evening.

The costume changes come thick and fast, and cleverly designed by Helen Stewart – sometimes a hat sometimes a mask and sometimes a jacket or wrap around dress - all so believable and working amazingly well.

So, if you get the opportunity to go and see this show at any point please take it – whether it’s summer or winter, Christmas or holiday time, and no matter what your age you will have a night of pure unadulterated pleasure whatever your age.


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