book by Jez Bond & Mark Cameron, lyrics & music by Jez Bond.
Park Theatre (Park 200) Clifton Terrace N4 3JP To 2 January 2016.
10am 9, 15, 16 Dec.
1.30pm 8-11, 15-18 (sold out 17 Dec), 22-24, 26, 29-31 Dec, 2 Jan.
3pm 12, 19 Dec.
5.30pm 22-24, 26, 29-31 Dec, 2 Jan.
7pm 10-12, 17-19 Dec.
Runs 2hr One interval.
TICKETS: 020 7870 6876.
Review: William Russell 7 December.
Let Your Hair Down.
The King and Queen of Püss Püss are trying to have a baby called Rapunzel, but she dies in childbirth and the baby is spirited away by the Great Gazombees, a charlatan who wishes to inherit the throne.
He rears her in a tower in the forest where she studies lots of things and grows her hair for the next eighteen years. Then along comes Prince Corbyn to rescue her, defeat the wicked Gazombees and reunite Rapunzel with her ailing father King Gerard.
It is an amazing concoction, has some jolly songs to keep the action moving along, although the point of some of them is a little obscure, two puppet fairies comment on the goings-on from a kind of press box overlooking the stage, and every now and then the audience is encouraged to do very silly things. It is extremely funny.
Mark Cameron, somewhat too shaky in his lines given that he must have written a lot of them, is a splendid villain, while Alex Hope makes a suitably weedy but well intentioned Corbyn – the Prince’s name, of course, is no coincidence because The Park is in the Labour leader’s constituency.
The little girl next to me said she had enjoyed it all, although one did wonder whether she quite understood the pregnancy-testing joke which opens the show, the Queen being anxious to produce the longed-for heir.
The verbals, as befits any pantomime, of which this is a bizarre example, are excruciating, none more so than the ones about ‘heir’ and ‘hair’, and much to be enjoyed.
Rapunzel is the third instalment of a saga called ‘The Chronicles of Waa’ – the previous pantomime stories deconstructed by Messr Bond & Cameron at The Park were Jack and the Beanstalk and Sleeping Beauty. One shudders to think where they will go next year in panto-land, but wherever it is, if it proves as ridiculously hilarious as this chapter of the saga, will be worth waiting for.
Rapunzel/Queen: Aretha Ayeh.
King Gerard: Rolan Bell.
The Great Gazombees: Mark Cameron.
Dobson/Prince Corbyn: Alex Hope.
Dr Chuff: Avita Jay.
Director: Jez Bond
Designer/Costume: Victoria Johnstone.
Lighting: Julian McCready.
Sound: Theo Holloway.
Orchestrator/Musical Director: Dimitri Scarlato.
Choreographer: Lee Proud.
Puppet Maker: Nick Ash.