Christmas time is Panto time...these two events are inseparable and the institution that is The King’s Theatre Panto once again is in the safe hands of Allan Stewart (Dame Trot), Andy Gray (Hector) and Grant Stott (Fleshcreep). Between them, these three pantomime stalwarts have got this annual event of traditional fun and villainy down to a fine art, and once again manage to tread that fine line of good hearted entertainment for the younger audience while managing some mild risqué humour for the older audience members. Young or old at heart this is just a traditional fun show for everyone.
Our story opens with Fleshcreep (Grant Stott) threatening Auld Reekie and the booming voice of the Giant Bawface who's gonna eat us a’ up!
We’re then introduced to the rest of the cast with a colourful dance number and topical jokes. Dame Trot (Allan Stewart) and Hector (Andy Gray) are going to help Jack (Greg Barrowman) stop Fleshcreep and the giant from destroying Edinburgh and Princess Apricot (Rachel Flynn).
The story takes us through the market, the inevitable cow bean exchange, the Trots' cottage and up the beanstalk (the folk in the left hand box realised why they got a good deal on the tickets).
Act II starts off in cloud land with a bizarre girl guide kazoo influenced dance number and promptly moves inside the giant’s castle where we meet the giant! Which of course is followed by much running around and their escape. I won't spoil the ending but it involves a royal wedding.
The show is filled with original songs, fun song and dance numbers, and of course some of the great visual effects surprises that The King’s Panto is now famous for.
Fleshcreep as you would expect is scary to many of the younger audience, but in that nice way that young children love to be scared, and not the way we define it as adults. And of course, there is that never ending panto joy of shouting along with everyone else in the audience those things that somehow the people on stage never seem to notice is standing right behind them.
The annual pantomime at The King’s Theatre is a huge event for everyone involved in it, and is always a big budget extravaganza. It is also always done with a lot of love and care for traditional theatre, and all these elements really shone through once more in this year’s performance.
Review by Donald and Earl