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 reading 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.