Review:Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, City Varieties

To create a traditional pantomime retaining the ethereal spirit of the fairytale whilst staying true to the original legend is a daunting and sometimes impossible task.

Rock 'n' Roll Panto at City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds
Rock 'n' Roll Panto at City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds

But the City Varieties has proved, yet again, it can achieve the impossible with the ultimate pantomime production of Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood.

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Peter Rose’s script is “pantomime heaven” and coupled with its mood lighting and outstanding set design is a perfect fit for this intimate historic theatre. Rose successfully combines a storyteller, puppets, dastardly villains, dashing heroes and all the slapstick, audience participation, raucous humour and glamour that traditional panto demands alongside the now inimitable vintage pop songs performed live by the talented cast. The production is fast-moving and seamless but what sets it apart from others is the vitality and high energy of its performers. From a swashbuckling Robin (Peter Manchester), an evil but rather appealing Sherriff (Darrell Brockis) and Blondel the storyteller ( Matthew Burns) every character is just as it should be. When it comes to slapstick in your face comedy, panto favourite Kenny Davies (Numskull) , excels with his appealing brand of humour. With nothing to frighten tiny tots and the chance to boogie in the aisles its certain this pantomime will be the hottest ticket in town.

Liz Coggins

To January 10