“Those who know me or who have merely read any review I’ve written for a panto before will know how much I cherish this artform and it’s common, when anyone has such sentiment towards something, for them to be shielding and precious with strong opinions for or against how it’s presented! Let me state from the off that this production was outstanding. This adaptation of the classic novel come MGM kingpin and respected stage musical worked tremendously well as an adventure pantomime, first and foremost thanks to the excellent script by Alex Jackson, what a find! Did it matter that there wasn’t a boy meets girl love story at its core? No! Did we miss having a princess or ambitious hero as the central character? No! Was it still a panto without either of those traits? Absolutely!
Amateur pantos throughout the nation (and further afield) are dominated by Alan P Frayn scripts with Tom Whalley quickly catching up as the modern favourite but Alex Jackson is the new kid on the block and I’m intrigued to see more of his versions grace the stage, VERY exciting indeed!
Innovative and modern script – tick! Now to the song choices… each one was a nostalgic blast from the past but more importantly, worked SO well to compliment the story. The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion gave us a Backstreet Boys anthem – or was it Five? – I don’t really care which it was, it’s not important, what matters is how it brought the house down and was pure joy, the entire audience was cheering and rooting for them whilst laughing (tears streaming down our faces) wholly invested in what was being presented to us. I adored it! The best one yet!”
Read the full review here.