Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Newcastle Theatre Royal - review
An explosion of colour, circus acts, and pantomime, Theatre Royal's highly-anticipated annual offering is not to be missed.
It’s more Greatest Showman meets Goldilocks and the Three Bears than the traditional children’s story.
But with father and son team Clive Webb and Danny Adams, it was never going to be a sedate affair - especially with its circus theme, which suits the pair down to the ground after their Cirque du Hilarious tour during the summer.
It is the region’s most successful and the country’s fastest-selling pantomime for a reason.
And that’s because it is two hours of pure fun, slapstick comedy, stunts, pyrotechnics, music and much, much more.
There are motorbike riders, juggling, acrobatics, high-speed rollerskaters - and it all comes at an action-packed pace. Writer and director Michael Harrison has created a high-octane experience which brings big top adventure to the stage.
It was Danny’s 14th panto with the team, and he once again provides the majority of the laughs as Danny the Clown, who just so happens to turn into the star of the show.
Every year they try to reach new heights and this year they literally did that, with Danny walking across a high wire to ‘save the show’.
Chris Hayward returns as Dame Rita Rington and has a stunning and glittering costume change for every entrance with the rousing introduction of ‘hiya me bonny bairns’ which is responded to with a ‘hiya hinny’ from the audience.
Rita’s costumes never cease to amaze - my personal favourite was the pink number in the finale - akin to a flamingo.
Boos and hisses greet the dastardly villain, Steve Arnott as Baron Von Vinklebottom with his every step on stage as he bids to kidnap the Three Bears played by Peter Peverley, Christina Berriman Dawson and Reece Sibbald.
The Geordie Bears - from Scotswood - were fantastic - so funny, and I imagine they were a huge hit with the kids in the audience - my six year old loved them.
And yet again Mike Potts and the circus idiot doesn’t fail to disappoint. He never has a single word to say, but manages to make every single member of the audience laugh.
And to add to that there are the Beserk Riders with not just one but four bikes and riders getting up to speeds of 60mph in a sphere on the stage, was outstanding. It had me on the very edge of my seat.
The Skating Medini were just as high-octane. Performing fantastic routines on rollerskates which saw one of the pair being swung round by just her neck - it was phenomenal.
And of course there was The Great Juggling Alfio who managed to juggle nine balls at once, bouncing balls up and down steps and all over the stage. He also performed a acrobatic act to the same outstanding level.
The sets were again just fantastic. They almost looked never ending, and brought another dimension to the circus theme of the production.
The cast brought back their 12 days of Christmas routine, which cannot be explained but causes guffaws of laughter, for one last time which was hugely welcomed.
And of course there was audience participation involved as well.
The finale is just amazing and a true spectacle to end a superb performance.
If you want a fun-filled family night out, with epic circus entertainment, side-slitting scenes and good old fashioned entertainment, then the Theatre Royal panto is the place to be.
The show runs at the Theatre Royal until Sunday, January 20 at various times , day and night.
To book your seats visit www.theatreroyal.co.uk or contact the box office on 08448 11 21 21