Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood

New Wolsey Theatre

Peter Rowe’s latest incarnation of the unmissable Ipswich Christmas treat that is the Rock’n’Roll Panto takes the form of a retelling of that well know fairy tale, Red Riding Hood.  With all the traditional trappings of a good pantomime blended together with well-known rock songs it is a formula that works well and, I suspect, will never grow old.

Fairy tale traditionalists, for I am assured that such exist, may find the inclusion of Bo Peep, Goldilocks, Little Miss Moffet and Jack Frost a tad confusing. Rock’n’Roll fans may not be comfortable with a wolf singing heavy metal – but please, this is theatre, a land of fantasy where anything can happen. Oh yes it can.

One of the young people in our company felt that the Panto was getting rude.  Alas young man, it has always been so – sadly you are getting older and more aware of the none-to-subtle nuances of this genre!

As always, the cast not only had to contend with remembering their lines but also playing their instruments, for in a Rock’n’Roll Panto the cast are the band – and a damm fine one too.

My favourite number had to be ”Sweet Caroline” – brilliant camp mincing by James Haggie as Ruffles, ably assisted in slapstick by Lana Walker’s Little Miss Moffet.  “And when it hurts…” it hurt with laughter.

Who knew when we first saw Lucy Wells as Beauty a mere four years ago that she would keep coming back to entertain us so royally? The woman has a wicked twinkle in her eye, a powerful voice and she also plays a mean sax!  And whilst on the subject of powerful performances, Max Runham (Wally the Woodcutter) does a mean version of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud“.

If you like your Christmas shows loud and rock laden you could do far worse that treat the family to a night at The New Wolsey Theatre.  But be quick, this show sells fast and already some days have limited availability.

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