Love ‘em or loath ‘em, the region’s theatres are about to fill with wall to wall double entendres and screams of “oh no it isn’t” – oh yes it is Panto season. With one of the longest running Panto’s in the region The New Wolsey Theatre kicked things off with a new variation on the theme, Sinbad.

Sinbad gets you all aboard the Saucy Sausage, ready for a swashbuckling evening filled with a barrel of laughs, that lets you escape the stress of Christmas for a few hours!

It tells a tale we’ve all heard of, but don’t necessarily recall with ease; so for those of you not familiar with the story an over protective father tries in vain to keep his rebellious daughter in tow and arranges a marriage to Sinistro (Dan De Cruz). But Pearl, (Daniella Piper) runs away to sea with her handmaiden, Jade (Lucy Wells) in search of some cool guys – namely Sinbad (Steve Rushton; who some of us may recall from the mid 00s pop-punk group, Son Of Dork) and his first mate. Along the way they survive the island of Sirens, the plughole of Poseidon and eventually find Nirvana, the home of true love.

Kicking off the show we are treated to Thin Lizzies ‘Boys Are Back in Town’ and mid-way through there is a wonderful blending of Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ and R.E.M.’s ‘It’s The End of the World As We Know It’. The music continued with a further eclectic mix of some well known hits, such as Living On A Prayer, I Want To Break Free and She’s So Lovely. There’s even the fun of audience participation of ‘rowing your boat’ to In The Navy!

The cast were quick-witted, and occasionally broke character slightly which added to the fun even more! There was always going to be the cliché jokes but some were well thought out and some even improvised. Dame Donna Souvlakia Sinbad (Graham Kent) – a swashbuckling ‘buccaneer if ever there was one – never failed to amuse, with quick-witted jokes and audience involvement, making the pantomime an enjoyable watch. The pairing of Dame Donna Souvlakia Sinbad and Tinbad the Tailor (Rob Falconer), made for a very enjoyable and comedic watch.

Listing all of the highlights for us would take too long, as would singing the praises of any one actor, but a mention must be made of the Dromedary – yes, they spit! And also the subtle special effects man who seamlessly produced smoke and wind without anyone noticing his presence on stage! Of the hand puppets: our favourite was by far the Pelican!

Alongside the obligatory Norwich jokes were added mentions of Colchester and a rival theatre in the region, who will no doubt will retaliate! All the old favourites were there to entertain the children and adults alike.

Overall while there is nothing deep and meaningful about Panto, it is harmless fun and an opportunity to leave your troubles in the foyer for a couple of hours. Where Panto often gets a bad name, is in poor presentation, but this is a Peter Rowe show at The New Wolsey, no need to worry there. He blends script, music and slapstick with a team of talented performers who work their socks off to entertain you. The New Wolsey’s Rock’n’Roll Panto, like turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce is something you just have to experience at this time of year as it’s not Christmas without it!

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]Sinbad runs at The New Wolsey Theatre until 28th January 2017. For more information or to book, visit:[/box]

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