WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHERE? New Victoria Theatre Woking RUN TIME: 2 hours and 30 minutes (with a 20-minute interval)
WHEN?: Runs to 6/1/19
We saw Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood in pantomime last year in Southampton when we thought it odd he didn’t dance more and it’s a criticism that’s rectified here.
- Read on for reasons including how Paul Chuckle provides this show’s most heartfelt moment
Last year he performed with the Chuckle Brothers and this year there’s a touching moment when Paul Chuckle produces a photo of his brother Barry, who died this year, as he pays a moving tribute to him.
It was an unexpected treat during a matinee in which much was familiar including Revel Horwood appearing in character as evil Baroness Demonica Hardup singing original number Strictly Fabulous which draws on the hard-to-please character of his Strictly Come Dancing persona.
It’a always a pleasure to watch a show so late in its run where the cast are clearly still enjoying each other’s company and there’s lots of accidental laughing here with Chuckle and Revel Horwood leaving each other in stitches playing the parents of Cinderlla and the Ugly Sisters.
There are lots of songs from The Greatest Showman here and Phil Butler as Buttons proves a memorable comic foil for Chuckle during comic routines with a sword and cucumber and audience members impersonating Goldilocks and the Three Bears that we remember from Southampton.
Oliver Savile also returns as the engaging romantic lead, this time Prince Charming, and Chris Jenkins made for a believable high-kicking Dandini, In a strong acrobatic supporting cast Bradley Salter is especially notable for the tumble turns he acquits with ease on stage.
The tongue-in-cheek humour that characterises the magnificent Palladium and Greenwich pantomimes seems to fly unappreciated over the heads of the audience here but we won’t forget Revel Horwood’s dancing, the gusto with which all the cast are still enjoying this and that sentimental nod to a missed Chuckle.
Definitely going to the ball – if not quite returning from it with trophy husband on arm.
Revel Horwood is so must-see in panto that tickets for his appearance next year in Snow White in Manchester are already on sale.