Yep, it’s back. The panto has landed at the Marlowe so you’d better brace yourself for eggcelent puns, high octane action and a high stakes battle for the soul of Mother Goose.
When a magic goose arrives at Mother Goose’s farm and lays some golden eggs it seems like her troubles are over. She can pay her angry landlord and still have money to spare for her ambitious plan to open a beauty spa. But in spite of this and the love of her devoted children, Jill, Billy and Charlie she still yearns to be beautiful and to find a Mister Goose. So when devious Lord Vanity comes calling with promises of untold beauty, well…let’s just say things don’t go smoothly.
I think of good pantomime as the art of managed chaos. And once again the Marlowe does not disappoint. There’s a good deal of audience participation – so be warned young men, Mother Goose may just have her eye on you! And things get a little messy when Lord Vanity’s henchmen armed with supersoakers!
Dr Ranj, Trina Hill and Lloyd Hollett play the Goose siblings – identical twins apparently. In his first ever panto, Dr Ranj shows off the dancing skills he picked up doing Strictly as well as a really rather good singing voice. Meanwhile local boy Lloyd Hollett proves that he may have a future as a mime artist!
A special mention must also go to Mark Pickering, who plays Demon Vanity. From the moment he arrives on stage gyrating his hips towards the “ladies”, he seems completely at home in a role that somehow evokes Count Dracula and Alan Partridge at the same time. For those Partridge fans out there, think of the scene where he dances for the BBC boss and then add a cape.
But a pantomime is really only as good as its dame. Over the past ten years Ben Roddy has established himself as Canterbury’s “panto laureate” and in his tenth year at the Marlowe he is on top form – whether he’s berating the hapless Marlowe crew or being dangled upside down from a wire in his underwear, he remains the master of the mischievous aside.
So, this Christmas, you must get down to the panto. After all, it’s the law.