Reviewed by Kathryn Harrison
Last night I visited Warrington’s Parr Hall theatre to watch their pantomime, Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood. With me was my friend and our two daughters, aged five and six. Unlike most local theatres that run their pantomimes throughout December and over the Christmas period, Parr Hall is different in that their pantomime opens in the new year and runs from the 4-13th January 2019.
The girls were very excited to watch the pantomime together and couldn’t wait for it to begin. All the usual characters were in the show including Robin Hood, played by Louise Willoughby, Maid Marion, played by Charlotte Buxton, and Naomi Fox as the Forest Fairy. The Sheriff of Nottingham was played brilliantly by Ian Moore, he captured the spirit of a panto villain completely and the children loved to boo as loud as they could whenever he appeared on stage. The humour in the show was provided by Phil Beck as panto dame Nurse Nellie, Mike Carnell as Silly Billy and Ed Leigh as Snarley the Henchman. These three characters were very funny providing the audience with lots of laughs however at times it felt as though they crossed the fine line from suggestiveness to sleaziness. A few of the jokes were a little rude and had my daughter asking me what they meant, all pantomimes have an element of cheekiness but for me this pantomime had a little too much.
The music in the show was performed brilliantly by the cast who all sang extremely well, in the first half of the show some of the songs seemed out of place and unrelated to what was happening in the show however in the second half the songs became more relevant to the story.
This was a fun show with all the elements required to make a great pantomime however for me it felt as though it was just missing that certain magic that a really good pantomime has. Overall our two girls enjoyed the show and it was a pleasant way to round off the festive season before the return to school.
Tickets cost from £12.25 (booking fees may apply).
Robin hood and the Babes in the Wood is at the Parr Hall in Warrington from 4-13 January 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.pyramidparrhall.com or call the box office on 01925 442884.
Pyramid & Parr Hall, Cultural Quarter, Palmyra Square South, Warrington, WA1 1BL