THE THREE MUSKETEERS – A BOUTIQUE PANTO
by John Savournin and David Eaton.
Rosemary Branch Theatre 2 Shepperton Road N1 3DT To 9 Jan 2013.
1pm (Smaller children’s performance 15 Dec.
3pm 20, 22, 31 Dec.
7.30pm 19, 20, 27, 30 Dec, 2, 3 Jan.
7.30pm (Adults only) 22, 29, 31 Dec, 4, 6, 8, 9 Jan.
(other performances sold out).
Runs 2 hr One interval.
TICKETS: 0207 704 6665.
Review: William Russell 11 December.
Small but perfectly performed.
It may not be London’s most lavish pantomime, but it is certainly one of the best. The Charles Court Opera pantomimes, now in their sixth year, are a feast of terrible puns, good singing, unusual plots – last year they did Beowulf – to death – and audience participation.
Naturally they star the lanky bespectacled John Savournin, their begetter, (who looks like Joyce Grenfell in drag) as the dame. This year he plays a Mother Superior with a natty line in wimples – and large black knickers judging by her washing line – who has to be constantly reminded: “Remember your rosary, keep on your hosiery.”
The scene is Paris, the diminutive, dishy but dim d’Artagnan (Matthew Kellett), stable boy at her convent, longs to become a musketeer. The famous trio – Phyllida Lloyd would approve – are played by Lexi Hutton, Nichola Jolley and Amy J Payne, who are, of course, girls, while Milady has become Milord and is done with gusto by a man, Simon Masterton-Smith.
There is also a pretty novice, called Justice for no apparent reason, played by Holly Julier, who gets d’Artagnan in the end (this sort of thing is catching). Richelieu, the nicely sinister Kevin Jones, has killed the king, d’Artagnan’s father apparently, and is seeking the lost heir, who owns this little thing tucked inside his pants – which he keeps wanting to show everyone – to kill him. It is, of course, a medallion of a fleur de lys.
Double entendres abound. Every time, it being France, someone says “Oui, oui” the inevitable reply is – “No thanks. I’ve just been.” There are sword fights, a kitchen scene, members of the audience are humiliated and somebody gets a custard pie in their face.
D’Artagnan: Matthew Kellett.
Athos: Lexi Hutton.
Porthos: Amy J Payne.
Aramis: Nichola Jolley.
Cardinal Richelieu: Kevin Jones.
Milord de Winter: Simon Masterton-Smith.
Justice: Holly Julier.
Director/Choreographer: John Savournin.
Designer: James Perkins.
Lighting: Nic Holdridge.
Musical Director: David Eaton.
Costume: Mia Walden.
Fight director: Bret Yount.