Goldilocks and The Three Bears: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto
New Wolsey Theatre
The New Wolsey’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto is always a welcome relief against the cold dark nights of winter and this year we have Goldilocks & The Three Bears as you have never seen it before.
Belinda’s Big Top Circus is under pressure due to no fresh acts and Whippum’s World of Wildlife drawing customers away. Wilberforce T. Whippum is a meany and is trying to force Dame Belinda to sell everything to him, he even has her daughter Goldilocks working for him under a tyrannous contract along with three performing bears.
Dame Belinda and Goldilocks forge a plan to outsmart the villainous Whippum, however there are many twists and turns along the way to keep the audience amused. There are quite a few characters, all with their storylines running through, however they are easy to follow for all the family. This makes the show fast pace with constant jokes, laughter, dancing, singing, groan-worthy gags, slapstick….you name it, I think they managed to put everything into this show.
We have the overly nice and smiley Tommy Topper (Jared Leatherwood) as the Ring Master with his catchphrase we have to shout at him each time he takes his hat off. Fairy Aurora (Natasha Lewis) gives us rhyming narratives through the performance and she pops up through the floor with a poof of smoke and her infectious smile and warmth just makes you smile too.
Whippum’s side-kicks Fleece’Em (Hannah Baker) and Flog’Em (Will Hamilton) are the perfect dim fools who constantly provide laughter with their silliness as they accidentally keep scuppering Whippum’s plans. Wilberforce T Whippum (Richard Costello) is a brilliant baddie who is still secretly in love with Dame Belinda Big Top (Steve Simmonds).
The bears: Papa Bear (Adam Langstaff), Mama Bear (Tasha Shanade) and Baby Bear (Elizabeth Rowe) are not what they seem and showcase their amazing voices. Bobo the Clown (Luke Thornton) is a sad heart-broken clown who we feel sorry for as he just can’t seem to catch a break. Goldilocks (Lucy Wells) is the perfect heroine who finds love.
The story is stuffed with well-chosen pop songs which the cast perform as part of the overall show – hence why it is a Rock n’ Roll panto. The beauty of having a multi-talented cast who can act, sing and play a huge variety of instruments between them, is that it makes it into a pop concert as well as the theatre! We had great pop tracks which the audience clapped and sang along to and included songs from Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Elton John, Wham, The Animals, Otis Reading and many others. The cast have amazing voices and they were all amazing bringing so much joy & entertainment to everyone.
There was plenty of audience participation as you’d expect from a panto, but it wasn’t cheesy, it might be tongue in cheek and there were some adult humour moments we hoped the kids didn’t understand, but we all joined in very willingly.
The costumes and the set were fantastically colourful reaching beyond the stage to make us think we were at the circus. And being at the circus there was a trapeze, juggling, seesaw, a camel, yes I did say a camel and there was even a human cannonball. Dame Belinda had the most outrageous costumes with one including a skirt of popcorn, hair of candyfloss and a necklace of hot dogs.
Everything was fun and delightful, you could see from the faces, claps, cheers and level of audience involvement that we all loved it.
If you’ve never seen a New Wolsey Panto, it’s probably about time you ventured out. Watch out for the water pistols.
The pantomime runs until 28 January 2023 and will also be livestreamed from Thursday 15 December 2022 – Monday 2 January 2023.