Tuesday, 8 December 2015

REVIEW - Red Riding Hood, Greenwich Theatre


THE tale of little Red Riding Hood may not be traditional panto fare but that hasn’t stopped writer, actor and director Andrew Pollard from transforming it into a rip roaring story for Greenwich Theatre.
The show is Andrew’s 10th as writer and Dame at the Crooms Hill theatre and it doesn’t disappoint - in fact it's one of his best.
In fact it is an absolute belter, full of silly gags, farcical goings on, slapstick, glitter, toe tapping songs and musical numbers not to mention a cracking story that had everyone on their feet, clapping, cheering, booing and hissing throughout.
It is set in Switzerland where Granny Fanny (Andrew Pollard) lives in the woods trying to keep her theatre from closing. The locals in the village don’t realise how much they value it until it is threatened with closure by the dastardly Count Fracula, played with delicious evilness by Anthony Spargo.
Clad in a black rubber-effect all in one suit complete with cape and hat, he cuts a villainous figure from the off, though there is more than a hint of Mick Jagger in there which comes to the fore in hilarious fashion at one point during the show.
Count Fracula wants to buy the theatre and the wood in which it sits so that he can put his evil plan into action, that of fracking to make pots of money.
It is up to the determined and thoroughly modern granddaughter Little Red, played by Kirsty Marie Ayers, aided and abetted by the three little pigs, led by Piggy Smalls, Prince Arden who is in disguise and Herr Brush to save the day for Granny Fanny.
It is a truly hilarious show – a brilliant mix of jokes for all the family and some fantastic characters - Alim Jayda's Piggy Smalls was one of the many highlights.
And with a selection of top tunes which will keep you humming well into the New Year, this show is full on family entertainment at its very best.
So funny was it that there were plenty of moments where I couldn't see because I was crying with laughter and in fact my ribs ached for hours after the show had finished.
This is Andrew Pollard at his absolute best so if you only go and see one panto this Christmas, make it this one.

Red Riding Hood is on at Greenwich Theatre, Crooms Hill until Sunday, January 10. Visit ww.greenwichtheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 020 8858 7755 for full listings.

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