Show me a person who does not like Panto. Most people’s memories of the pantomime experience start from an early age and that is where we are starting with our review of Mother Goose now showing at Salisbury Playhouse this Christmas until the 10th January.
Our three year old son was to test the Salisbury Playhouse’s own theatre productions ability to be funny, sincere, creative and engaging for what must seem a life time to a toddler – two and half hours.
The pantomime was Mother Goose which is not the most popular of nursery tales however this rendition of the tale was almost unrecognisable, some might say even better than the original. It certainly hit the mark with our three year old as the story unfolded a tale of poverty, fortune and love.
Having only just grasped the concept of an auditorium arrangement with the previous weekends experience at the cinema, our son quickly warmed to the usual seating order; Mum, Son, Dad and as the orchestra struck the first note he was edging ever closer to the front of the seat and enjoyed the start of the show with the most West Country good Fairy Flutter ever to don a stage asking us to rebound the saying Tweet Tweet!
The story was then expanded further by Demonica Baddegg Fairy who was extremely bad as our son could hardly look at her, but once the good old booing and hissing started he was right alongside with the turned down thumb to add more emphasis on her badness.
Other memorable sayings to throw back came from the Mother Goose dame played by renowned Kieran Buckeridge, who went on to explain her current financial affairs and endeared every single member of the audience with facial expressions and funny quips. Son, Billy Goose was very silly with his inventions, one so silly no one knew what it was until his invention saved the day at the end of the performance allowing him and his new love Milly to marry.
Priscilla the Goose who lays the golden eggs and the great provider for Mother and Billy was extremely fluffy with exactly the right amounts of honks to express herself and body wiggles to show off her fantastic costume. Our son was delighted as she suddenly appeared in the audience close enough to frantically wave to and she waved back!
The dancing and choreography throughout was brilliant and both were shown off with a well-rehearsed slap stick scene by Billy and Milly’s father Squire Dillydally, containing lots of mess, some covering the first few rows and a fab dance off with young performing penguins and a hilarious rendition of Torvil and Dean’s, Bolero by Mother Goose and the Squire too.
These scenes had our son laughing the most and were certainly the highlights but when asked who was the best, he was most taken with the Demonica Baddegg as he loved that she changed her ways in the end.
A great message well received, good job Salisbury Playhouse, you certainly passed the test to entertain the youngest of audiences and the big kid in all of us. Well worth a watch.
To book tickets visit: http://www.salisburyplayhouse.com/page/mother-goose