BEOWULF – a boutique panto
by John Savournin.
Rosemary Branch Theatre 2 Shepperton Rd N1 3DT To 8 January 2012.
Mon–Sat 7.30pm Mat 3pm – check dates with theatre. (They are scattered all over the weeks of the run and listed on the website)
Runs 2hr 15min One interval.
TICKETS: 0207 704 6664.
Review: William Russell 10 December.
Let’s hear it for Grendel’s Mum.
This sparkling, witty pantomime presented by Charles Court Opera written and directed by Grandel’s mum, otherwise
It is a delight from start to finish. It may be small in scale, but all the ingredients are there – bad jokes, good jokes, a sing-along competition, a dame with a bosom that makes Anne Widdecombe seem undernourished (it belongs to the aforesaid Grendel’s mum) and a terrible story line. Forget Shrek, although we are in a land of ogres and dragons. The plot is based on Anglos-Saxon epic Beowulf and tells how the noble hero comes to the rescue of King Hirothgar, whose land is plagued by a monster called Grendel, not to mention a dragon lurking nearby, and wins the Princess Hrothmund.
There are some choice lines. "Who were you with? Someone from school. Teacher? Didn’t have to". Or – "Why don’t you sit on my lap and we’ll talk about the first thing that comes up?" There is also a baking scene which ended with dough being flung at the audience and the play’s publicist receiving a custard pie on his pate, Grendel’s mum not realising where she was plonking it.
Mr Savournin is a delight, as is Mr Kyle as a Beowulf scared of girls. The veteran Simon Masterton-Smith is a suitably imposing King, and Philip Lee a splendidly scaly Grendel. They are all opera singers so the songs are well sung, and everyone has a wonderful time letting their hair down, except for Grendel’s mum whose hair has more lacquer than Alma Cogan.
The Spirit of Good Cheer: Sian Winstanley.
King Hrothgar/Dragon: Simon Masterton-Smith.
Princess Hrothmund: Catrine Kirkman.
Grendel: Philip Lee.
Wiglaf (his sidekick): Amy J Payne.
Grendel’s Mother: John Savournin.
Aeschere (a courtier): James Young.
Unferth (A courtier): David Eaton.
Director/Choreographer: John Savournin.
Designer: James Perkins.
Lighting: Nicholas Hodridge.
Musical Director:James Young.
Costume: Martina Trottmann.