Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Panto Reviews - Bath 2017

Reviews for SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS at the Theatre Royal Bath from: 


Links to reviews available online:












Additional online review from MUSICAL THEATRE LIVES IN ME:

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Review 1 - Families in Bath

Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs at The Theatre Royal, Bath 
I love panto.  I love the glitz, the singing, the dancing, the romance, the puns, the innuendo, the campness, the arch knowingness, the audience participation and watching the kids’ reaction.  And I absolutely loved Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at The Theatre Royal because it delivered on every single one of these elements.  In droves. 

This performance had everything you would expect, including an engaging storyline, strong musical numbers, beautiful and detailed sets, lovely costumes, and a talented team of actors.  And we had comedy at every turn, including topical references, lots of innuendo and a smattering of slapstick.

Our romantic heroes, Snow White and Prince Frederick, played by Devon-Elise Johnson and Michael Quinn, gave incredible vocal performances, including some of the well-known classics from the film such as “Wishing” and “Some Day My Prince Will Come”.  Devon-Elise ditched the ditzy, twee Disney Snow White for a rendition that was fresh, likeable and contemporary. 

Michael Quinn’s performance as Frederick, was knowingly tongue-in-cheek.  If this Alpha Prince had been a cartoon, his teeth would have pinged with a flash of light every time he smiled.  He was traditionally princely enough to satisfy the story-telling element for the kids, with a hint of Lord Flashheart from Blackadder to amuse the parents.  Incidentally, his hyper-tight tights (and the lunch box innuendos in the script) caused a bit of a flurry amongst a group of mums sitting near us, which escalated into eye-wiping hysterics by the time of the “ghosties and ghoulies” routine!

Harriet Thorpe was superbly arch as the Wicked Queen (with a most glamorous costume!), relishing the boos from the audience and riffing off some mini-hecklers from the audience.   

For the kids, of course, it was all about the Seven Dwarfs and they were mesmerised by the talented troupe of actors playing them from the first strains of Hi Ho.  Particular mention should go to Simeon Dyer playing Smiler for his part in the outstanding Twelve Days of Christmas comedy routine.

The ensemble of dancers was also very polished, with the babes from the Dorothy Coleborn School of Dance especially melting hearts in their uber-cute woodland creature costumes. 

But the heart, soul and energy that totally carried this particular production must belong to the extremely talented duo of Jon Monie and Nick Wilton, playing Muddles the Jester and Dame Dolly respectively.  The fact that these actors have worked together on Bath pantomimes before was evident from their palpable on-stage chemistry. Their timing was immaculate, the performances polished and the gags flowed – including those that flew way over the heads of the children just for the adults.  The magic hat routine with Prince Frederick, in particular, was superbly executed.

I realise that this highly positive review could come over as somewhat sycophantic, but actually, this was an accomplished, polished and highly entertaining production where I struggled to find a single area of weakness.  Highly recommended. 

To book tickets contact the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or visit
Review by Sally Long, FamiliesInBath

Third Year Back in Bath

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs
Theatre Royal Bath
7th December 2017 - 7th January 2018
Thrilled to back at The Theatre Royal Bath this Christmas
for my 10th season with UK Productions,
and my 18th consecutive Christmas playing Dame.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Panto Reviews - Bath 2016











THE BATH & WILTSHIRE PARENT MAGAZINE:                                                                             

BATH CHRONICLE (Online version posted on 12 Dec, also in print 15 Dec):


WILTSHIRE GAZETTE & HERALD/WILTSHIRE TIMES (Online version posted on 11 Dec, also in print 22 Dec):

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Port, Pies & Pressies

Post Panto Port & Pies
in dressing Room 5 last night
 courtesy of those
Fabulous Panto Party girls, 
Gemma Naylor & Loula Geater

And thank you Twankey's Twin Tub Laundry girls
for my lovely card and present.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Review 11: Gazette

REVIEW by Alexandra Womack
Aladdin at Bath Theatre Royal
PANTO season is well and truly upon us, oh yes it is, and back with a vengeance is Bath Theatre Royal’s annual offering of comic capers, furious family fun and a baddie of wonderfully over the top proportions.
2016 brings us Aladdin, the classic tale of the poor soul who falls in love with a princess and will do anything to marry his fair maiden.
Mark Rhodes, of Sam and Mark fame, is our hapless hero and the Brummie presenter is the perfect leading man with energy, enthusiasm and a great voice to boot.
His aid and confidant Wishee Washee, played by Bath legend Jon Monie, carries this packed two-and-a-half-hour show with witty one-liners, hilarious slapstick scenes alongside PC Pong (Tom Whalley) and plenty of audience participation, as you would expect in any panto worth its weight in gold lamps.
Returning for a second year as dame is the very capable Nick Wilton, bringing Widow Twankey to life in all her huge-wigged glory, and between them Jon, Nick, Mark and Tom perform pantomime magic with their perfect balance of tongue-in-cheek humour and camaraderie clearly visible on stage.
Gemma Naylor, from Nickledeon’s Nick Jr Channel, does an admirable job as Princess Jasmine but it is the genie, or Slave of the Ring, played by Loula Geater who really steals the show.
Impressive throughout, Loula takes this action-packed adventure to new levels when she bursts into a no holds barred rendition of Hero.
Whilst Aladdin flies a magic carpet in the background, all eyes are on the blonde bombshell of a genie whose petite figure belies such a powerful voice.
Of course no panto would be complete without an evil sorcerer. Emmerdale and Coronation Street star Bill Ward plays the wicked Abazanar to perfection with both the loud, cackling cries all children want from a baddie and an enjoyable ability to laugh at himself which goes down well with all the parents in the audience.
Young dancers from the Dorothy Coleborn School fill the company and the set, as always in Bath, is a major achievement for a theatre of this size.

Review 10; The Reviews Hub

Aladdin – Theatre Royal Bath

Writer and Director: Michael Gattrell
Musical Director: Oliver Rew
Choreographer: Danielle Drayton
Reviewer: Harry Mottram

A sparkling finale from a production that is kind-hearted to the core and delivers beautifully choreographed dancing and musical set pieces with the fabulous vocals of Loula Geater as the Slave to the Ring lighting up the Main House.
Michael Gattrell’s Aladdin is a buoyant, bubbling, good-natured traditional pantomime that never allows the pace to falter and is filled with all of the ingredients necessary for a wholesome production. 

Jon Monie pulls the story together as Wishee Washee. He invites children onto the stage to have a chat and a go at Kung Fu, pours liquid gunge over PC Pong’s (Tom Whalley) head and fits in birthday greetings to members of the audience while being the comically useless brother of Aladdin. However, children complain that he doesn’t throw enough sweets to the audience – so he shows room for some confectionary improvement despite his commanding presence.

The kind-hearted tone of the show extends to the baddie Abanazar played with relish by Bill Ward who can’t help debunking his evil persona with self-deprecating asides. No small child will have nightmares over his dramatic entrances and dastardly plans to steal the magic lamp. 
Up against him is the wholesome nice guy Mark Rhodes as Aladdin who any mum would love as a son since he is so nice and sings and dances so well. Shame about his mum though; Nick Wilton as matriarch Widow Twankey is superbly grotesque and is just one innuendo short of being too smutty. Of course, the shadow of the late Chris Harris still haunts the dressing rooms of the theatre as the grand dame for many years, but he would surely approve of Wilton’s take on Peking’s least politically correct mum.
Silk clad Gemma Naylor is suitably beautiful as Princess Naylor if an unlikely looking Chinese aristocrat as she falls for Aladdin in a waft of sequined veil of love at first sight. 
A real star turn is Tom Whalley who brings some period piece old style music hall acting as the hapless copper to the fore while another old style acting gem is Glyn Dilley playing the straight man as emperor.
A much-simplified storyline inspired by late 18th Century notions of where the “East” is (Arabia, Persia, China and Morocco) in a panto that refreshingly includes local references, current political quips, topical notes and many a joke at the expense of residents of nearby towns. Yes, all the ingredients of a traditional show are here and performed with energy in a show that knows its audience. In a cracking dance and song production, it is a pity about the dated looking flats depicting old Peking. They look as if dropped in from a panto of another era. A small matter perhaps but when the show zips along with stand-out singing, exquisite dancing from the Dorothy Coleburn School of Dance, and a cast on fire – sets and design are important.