Potted Panto ★★★★ Garrick Theatre | Dec 11, 2021 - Jan 9, 2022


In this variety box of seasonal panto treats, Daniel Clarkson and Gary Trainor put on what is almost a school for pantomime. In seventy minutes they provide their uniquely hilarious version of at least seven pantos. Does Dickens' Christmas Carol qualify as a panto? While giving a tongue-in-cheek history of the genre, they also put on a masterclass demonstrating what fun it can all be. We loved the corny jokes, the commentary on current events and the audience participation moments. It all works because of the incredible pace set by the talented twosome. Missed a pun or didn't get a joke? No problem there's another one coming right up. As they bounce from character to character or from one story to another their timing is perfect. We loved the running gag of Clarkson's Prince Charming and Trainor's princesses were hilarious, even when competing for the former's affections with members of the audience. One feature of the genre that our instructors didn't mention, but which they succeed admirably at, is the panto's requirement to engage an audience of all ages. Potted Panto has something for everyone. There's lots here for youngsters and enough material to keep it interesting for adults. It is not an easy tight rope to navigate but these skilled clowns get the balance just right. For the perfect selection of what makes panto a delightful Christmas confection, this should be your entertainment choice.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Geraint Lewis.

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