Date 23rd December 2022
Society Angles Theatre
Venue The Angles Theatre
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Laura-Jayne Cook
Musical Director Marie Cuningham
Choreographer Jasmin Towler, Laura-Jayne Cook, Kala Amor


Author: Leslie Judd

Looking at the Cast List for The Angles Theatre 2022 Pantomime I knew that I wasn’t going to be disappointed, there was for a start one of the usual suspects playing the Dame, a strong production team and a list of actors with credits as long as one’s arm, the only query was how do you make a full-length Panto out of Rapunzle a short Grimm Brothers Fairy Tale.

Innovation and interpretation gives a full-length Panto, themed around hair and its associated activities and accessories. This resulted in a set featuring a giant cut out hair dryer stage left and Rapunzel’s Tower stage right, the tower having an upper window used to effect and the handle of the hair dryer masking an entrance upstage left. Great use was made of all the entrances around the theatre, for chases as well as ordinary entrances and exits. The set was colourful and well laid out, lighting design was imaginative and colourful as well and sound as always was good, pace throughout the show was good apart from one scene change prior to the Wedding scene when there was a noticeable blackout.

Costumes were as always well thought through, well made and themed although I did wonder about the skirts that the dancers wore, they weren’t full skirts and looked a bit strange to my mind, I suspect that I just didn’t get the designers idea. The Dames costumes were wonderfully outrageous taking in, again, the hairdressing theme, Slap Ed and Brainless Bob’s costumes were bright and colourfully matched. Fairy Lockz and Fairy Hair Do were appropriately dressed for their characters as was Rapunzle with her long-plaited hair. All songs were performed with gusto and the choreography was very together, the number of dancers was most suitable to the performance space, no over crowding or bumping into each other with the Dance Team and the junior Sparkles and Rainbow Teams.

Rob Williams gave an excellent performance as Penny Perm, joyously over the top, loving every minute of his role. Melissa and Rebecca were well paired as Rapunzle and Flynn (the handsome prince) both looking the part. A different type of role for Ted and Sam as Brainless Bob and Slap Ed, these two worked well together as the Panto Dim-wits and entertained the audience with their banter. They were nearly matched by the pair of good and bad Fairies. Lizzie as Fairy Hair Do and Bridie as Fairy Lockz, bringing their abilities and personalities into their roles, I did worry whether Bridies voice would hold out to the end of the run  I hope so.

Another fun role was that of the Unicorn Britney Spurs portrayed successfully by Chloe. Would King Quiff ever get a word in, would Queen Curly stop interrupting, only Addie and Lorraine would know that, another pair that used comedy and expression to good effect. I must add here that I felt very sorry for Sam being drenched in water, shampoo, shaving foam? and whatever else was poured over her in Penny Perms saloon, at least Ted only got to muck up his face and hair.

Dialogue and diction was clear throughout the show, the songs were powerfully performed which was good as I didn’t recognise them, although I suspect that many in the large and responsive audience would have done. Their volume, timing and tunefulness were all very good, there was no problem with sound throughout.

Altogether this was a well-directed and enjoyable production, much appreciated by the audience, even those sprayed by the super soaker water pistol. Congratulations to first time director Laura-Jayne and her huge support team