Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Kat B’

The third annual New Years Eve trip east, this year somewhat nervously in the knowledge that their resident Dame, Clive Rowe, is otherwise engaged in the hugely enjoyable Ladykillers in the West End. Still, its Cinderella, so no Dame needed……

What we do get is a simply terrific baddie in the normally lovely Joanna Riding’s Wicked Stepmother (with a range of killer costumes and a Lady Gaga song to sing) and two of the best Ugly Sisters I’ve ever seen – veteran Tony Whittle and ‘newly crossed over’ Kat B – with terrific chemistry between them and as outrageous a wardrobe as you’d hope for.

This years animal collection includes the customary pantomime horse, two mice voiced by Clarke Peters and Sharon D Clark no less and a white animatronic winged horse who rises up towards the sky pulling Cinderella’s carriage – yes, you heard me,  A White Animatronic Winged Horse! Eat your heart out, Betty Blue Eyes.

The Empire was packed. The man plucked from the audience to be humiliated by the Ugly Sisters was a lawyer called Cassius! (and they managed to sew his name onto a pair of giant knickers by the shoe trying-on scene). By the time the entire audience, cast, crew and ushers were linking hands for Aulde Lang Syne, there was a glow warm enough to survive any winter.

I think three years in a row means it’s now officially annual. I can’t think of a more uplifting way to end the year, with more than a thousand strangers who feel like your best friends.

Read Full Post »

Back to Hackney Empire for the second year running to end the year at their now legendary panto. This Victorian theatre is made for panto and you can’t but get caught up in the excited anticipation of the full house. Before the curtain has risen on Susie McKenna’s production, you feel part of a community even if you don’t know another soul in the building.

This year’s concoction has Jaygann Ayeh an unfeasibly lovable Jack, his naive cute friend Silly Billy (David Roberts) and Chloe Taylor’s Off Her Trolly Molly infatuated with Jack and loved by Billy. Vegetable references abound with the good fairy Sweet Pea (Abigail Rosser) and baddies Runner Bean, panto veteran Tony Whittle  and Broad Bean, Jenny Dale. Then there’s Dame Daisy, the larger than life Clive Rowe who is now so at home as a dame he may be in his own groundhog day, struggling to get back to legit plays and musicals!

Add in an excellent beanstalk, a Shrek-like giant, a hip-hop snowman (Kat B), the customary cow and a singing gold harp! Yes, a singing gold harp! We even get a small troop of dancing flowers and dancing vegetables. I thought we got a few too many references to TV and too many familiar pop songs this year, but this is a bit of a niggle when what we have after all is the real deal – proper panto rather than celeb-laden mediocrity.

It’s only the second year I’ve been to Hackney on New Years Eve afternoon singing Auld Lang Syne arm-in-arm with the good folk of East London, but I have a suspicion it’s already a tradition. Bliss.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts