Richard Lutz can’t get enough of panto at the Hippodrome.
Panto alert! ….BBOSAT. BBOSAT.
That’s right: Beg Borrow or Steal a Ticket for this one. It’s a 100% nuthouse classic.
I personally counted 234 people rolling down the aisles, 435 drowning in tears of fun and 827 people slapping thighs with uncontrolled mirth. It’s a Crimbo winner.
Of course, it has solid minor celebs in the cast such as Wolverhampton comedian Meera Syal as a Magical Mermaid, Jimmy Osmond as Captain Hook, and Jaymi Hensley, the X factor warbler, as Mr Pan.
But the show-stealer, as ever, is Matt Slack, the perennial panto standout who gets the crazed ball rolling and never lets up. It’s his sixth straight Birmingham panto and he dances, sings, ad-libs ’til the cows come home and generally prats about with outrageously assured schtick that leaves the audience begging for more.
Director Michael Harrison willingly throws in a lot of great effects for good measure. There’s a fifty-foot flying crocodile, a rotating motor scooter, loads of zooming aerial stuff and a even a guitar that explodes with fireworks. Who wants more?
Okay, the plot bears little resemblance to the original JM Barrie story. And Jimmy O. is lukewarm as a tubby Hook. He’s just not nasty enough. But young cutey Hensley’s got good tenor pipes as he flies around the place and Our Meera, Black Country to her lurex fishtail, is a sweetie as the mermaid.
And at the end of a joyously inane evening, mum, dad, kiddies and old Auntie Joyce all leave the Hippo laughing their socks and corsets off with a song in their hearts and a blue joke or two still ringing in their ears. Don’t miss this one.
It’s on until 27th January. Tickets at: https://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/peter-pan/