Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Panto Review: Rapunzel at the Park Theatre

Park Theatre
Reviewed on Friday 11th December 2015

Once again the award for most bizarre panto of the year goes to the Park Theatre for their production of Rapunzel. I do respect Jez Bond and Mark Cameron for tearing up more and more of the panto rule book each year, but must also admit that for two hours I wondered if I had eaten one mince pie too many and fallen into some sort of weird panto nightmare.

It's nice to see a pantomime which doesn't feature weird shoe-horned pop songs. To write an entirely original score is a brave thing to do, and this year's show features a couple of catchy numbers which work nicely. Unfortunately the score features some weaker tunes and the decision to use backing tracks instead of a live band is disappointing - it all sounds so robotic.

The cast certainly can't be faulted for their dedication to the piece. Aretha Ayeh gives a stand out performance in the title role whilst Memphis star Rolan Bell showcases some deliciously soulful vocals in the opening number before proceeding to show off tremendous versatility as a strong character actor. 

Instead of featuring normal panto humour, Bond and Cameron transport the audience into a weird and wonderful flannel-obsessed world. There are some good moments, but I only found myself laughing out loud a couple of times. The overly-silly comedy won't be to everybody's taste. Despite admiring the concept, this alternative panto certainly isn't my cup of tea.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Rapunzel runs at the Park Theatre until 2nd January 2016.
Please visit www.parktheatre.co.uk for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Darren Bell

No comments:

Post a Comment