Ahead of You!

Folks I’ve just had my day brightened by, of all things, Greenwich Time. It’s not something that has ever happened before, and I don’t hold out hope for it happening again, but hey – today proves that miracles do happen.

No – it’s not the front page news that the ‘Heart of East Greenwich’ has got yet another ‘partner’ in its long-running saga to build something – anything – useful on the old hospital site. I take that in my stride. We’ve been there so many times before and all it’s meant in effect is a shiny new placard on the outside advertising the new body’s name. I shall be overjoyed about that when something actually happens behind the hoardings.

No – this was the piece just inside page two by James Haddrell of Greenwich Theatre announcing this year’s pantomime. I have been edgy all year, will they, won’t they (I’ve already been disappointed by there being no Bubble outside show this year) …but phew – oh, yes, they will.

Some may find me soft in the tricorn to get so disproportionally excited about a kids’ show, but honestly (and perhaps pathetically) this is one of my best nights out all year. I’ve always been a panto fan, but they are not made equally. The Old Vic couldn’t get it right at all – oh, Ian McKellen ‘got it,’ and so would have Maureen Lipman and Sam Kelly if they’d been allowed two minutes onstage, but essentially, it was a bunch of snobs who thought the genre was beneath them and it just didn’t work. Don’t get me started on the list of reasons why, though I do accept that it did have the funniest dame-gag ever in it.

Andrew Pollard gets it – a writer who knows the form inside out, and throws himself into making it the funniest, brightest and best show of the season without ever needing to make snidey nudge-nudge gags to the audience that he’s better than this, really. And he is a superb dame.

Paul Critoph gets it too. He’s usually the jolly-old-soul older-guy character (okay,okay, so last year he was an ugly sis, an interesting departure, but I’m talking ‘usually’), and a jollier old soul you couldn’t possibly want to see on your festive outing. I am more than delighted to see him back.

And Greenwich Theatre gets it. I know I go on about this every year, but even if you’re pantophobic, I urge you to try this on for size. I am already happier today just ┬áreading that this year’s offering is to be Aladdin. I’m looking out my sparkly deelyboppers and whizzy wand already. I even have high hopes I’ll have a real, live, actual child to take with me this year. Booking’s open, but you have to dig around the Greenwich Theatre website for it.


6 Comments to “Ahead of You!”

  1. RogerW says:

    From the way you make it sound, it certainly sounds like good news.
    Actually, as soon as I saw “GT” I was kind of hoping it was something else: as soon as I’d seen about it on his facebook page, I’d actually phoned GT to tell them the good news about Danny Baker, in terms of being given the all-clear as regards his cancer. I mean, hey, if Danny Baker isn’t local news, what is.
    Yes, it’s a darn shame about Bubble. And there was me, at Dilston Grove, all keen to tell them how I’d already been putting my mind thinking up a suggestion for the next one. I felt right deflated, that’s for sure. If I understood correctly, though, although they might be shelving this year’s summer show, they are still looking at staging something a little later in the year.

  2. I don’t recall seeing anything about DannyBaker in GT, though I confess I didn’t read very clearly after the panto thing. But that’s good news indeed. I am delighted for him. And if Bubble can continue in any way, I will be happy too.

  3. RogerW says:

    Sorry, my fault.
    I realised as soon as I re-read my reply that my post could be read two ways.
    What I meant was that I’d phoned GT to pass on the news (that I’d seen fresh on Danny’s “Star & Garter” facebook page), with a suggestion that it was something they SHOULD consider putting in the paper.
    I haven’t actually seen the new issue, yet, to know whether they did or didn’t.

  4. Ah yes, and you’re right – they should. Whether they did or not, I don’t know. It’s now in the recycling…

  5. cerletone says:

    I went to Greenwich Theatre last night to see the production of Godspell (on there until the weekend). It’s a final year production for some students from London Studio Centre and it’s amazing. There’s some really great new talent. It’s full of energy, vitality and enthusiasm. It’s not perfect by any means (some direction glitches and a few fluffed lines) but it made me happy. The music of course is fantastic and it’s sixteen quid well spent. I’d say there’s at least 4 young people to watch out for in the future. The Sam West lookalike (Jason Somebody) is the real talent in the show – his voice, his acting and his enthusiasm are quite something. Go and see it and support these talented kids and our great local theatre. Then go for a pint in the Rose and Crown and celebrate the fact that at last it’s got a landlord who knows how to run a boozer.

  6. Mazer says:

    Thank you Phantom, just seen Aladdin at Greenwich Theatre, first time ever there despite living here for years, and appreciate your recommendation – absolutely brilliant, you really dont need to have kids to LOVE the Greenwich panto – wish I had gone years before now! The pop musical numbers were brilliantly staged and surprisingly slick special effects for non-west end – especially their versions of ‘california girls’ and Lady Gaga’s ‘born this way’. We are very lucky to have this quality on our doorstep!