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Pantos On Strike (Manchester)

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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Adult pantomimes have always been hit and miss, for every funny one there seems to be a clunker, this one is sadly the latter. However I must point out that the opening night star studded audience (including Robbie Williams, who also made a nice cameo in the show) lapped it up.
The story (I use that term loosely of course since it is panto) sees Jonathan Wilkes and Paddy McGuiness having to save the genre after all the panto characters have gone on strike because the evil  King Foo has kidnapped the princess and won’t release her until the baddies can come out on top.

The problem with this show is that the humour is just not funny enough. If your idea of jokes includes various gay innuendos, midget jokes and... well that’s it really, then I’m sure you will have a ball. The show feels over long and the jokes about Wilkes only being known as Robbie Williams’s best mate and Paddy McGuiness only being known because of Peter Kay grow tiring after the 20th time. 

The show also seems to rely on the cast swearing at the end of a sentence to get a rise out of the audience and the ‘Most Offensive Song Ever’ as billed on the poster was anything but, as South Park has gone much further in one of their worst episodes.

It’s not all bad though, the game cast give everything they have got to keep the momentum running. McGuiness is genuinely likeable and very funny but deserves better than this, Wilkes looks like he is having a ball and the rest of the company deliver and make the best of the thin material.

The biggest highlight however was Robbie Williams taking the stage to sing Angels, sadly though this is a one night only event. Some people will find Pantos On Strike amusing but for me, I have to state the obvious: "Oh no it isn't."

- Craig Hepworth


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