CLEMENTINE’S SEASONAL SPECTACULAR
by Mark Mander.
Rosemary Branch Theatre
2 Shepperton Road, London N1 3D7 to 10 January 2016.
Mon – Sat 7.30pm – Dec 18,21,29,30, Jan 3, 4, 6, 8. Adult performances Dec 19, 20, 22, 31 Jan 2, 7, 9, 10.
Mat 3pm – Dec 19, 20, 22, 30 Jan 2, 3, 9, 10.
Runs 1h3 40 mins One interval.
TICKETS: 020 7704 2730.
Review: William Russell 15 December.
And now for something completely and gloriously different
After eight glorious years, the Charles Court Opera Company having taken its pantomime elsewhere, the problem for this bijou pub theatre was – what to do instead? The answer – this hilarious and ever so fabulous mixture of puppets and people, pantomime and revue starring Clementine the Living Fashion Doll, a lady encased in ostrich feathers and diamante who can sing and move a little bit while all around her mayhem reigns.
Mark Mander, who plays Clementine, is gloriously camp, sings like a diva and knows how to work an audience. He is supported by three hard working puppeteers, a muscular genie who appears in the flesh at the adult performances, as a video projection at the other ones, assorted animals, dragons, beasties and moving objects as well as the voices of the great Steve Nallon.
The first half is a song and dance affair introduced by Yvette the usherette from the Gorbals, a lady who longs to be centre stage, an ambition she does not achieve although she gets to greet the audience.
The second half is a most peculiar pantomime in which Snow-white gets involved with 007, otherwise Prince Charming, and her Wicked Stepmother is a dead ringer for Margaret Thatcher – with Mr Nallon in the cast it is inevitable. Charming gets turned into a frog.
There is an added attraction. Cecilia Darker and Cleo Sylvestre, the theatre’s legendary artistic directors, make a guest appearance amid the feathers, the sequins and the bling dolled up to the nines. It is a sight not to be missed.
Clementine: Mark Mander.
Voice artist for the Panto: Steve Nallon.
Puppeteers: Stewart Fraser, Lesa Gillespie, Clare Rebekah Ponting.
Genie: Jack Jefferson.
Understudy: Mark Esaias.
Show creator: Mark Mander.
Animation/CGI Backgrounds: David Carpenter.
Lighting and Projection: Simeon Miller.
Bespoke Music: Christopher Frost.
Scenic Construction: Roger Lade.
Choreography Advisor: Lyn Robertson Bruce.