Recent Posts

Sunday, 4 December 2022

REVIEW: Pantoland, the online streamed Pantomime

Peter Duncan, the former Blue Peter presenter and chief scout, and a director and Dame for many stage pantomimes has a great deal of experience in engaging young children and in 2020 his company Jack be nimble produced Jack and the Beanstalk in his garden and surrounding area and followed up in 2021 with Cinderella in multiple locations. They were excellent ways of bringing the Pantomime genre into people’s homes through streaming and entertaining young families in their sitting rooms. This year he has drawn on both the experience of those two films and his years as a Children’s entertainer to create Pantoland featuring chiefly himself as a Dame and written and directed by himself with Director of Photography Luke Roberts and music by Colin Cottle.

The result is a well-shot and edited mash-up of creative ideas and techniques based very loosely on Pantomime characters and business without any coherent thread or narrative running through it. It might have been better as if reading a video book with different chapters telling different short stories, like a modern-day Playschool or watch with mother. Chapter headings would have made good placeholders to stop as without a running narrative it is quite a long hour watch for an adult! It feels like the sort of programme that would sit quite happily on CBeebies or used as an audition tape for any number of Children's programmes!

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

REVIEW: Pantoland at the London Palladium

The London Palladium has always been the West End home of variety and for a while as the posters on the proscenium arch remind us for a while was the leading venue for Panto too. This year they celebrate both British entertainment genres in a tailor-made show Pantoland at the Palladium. In recent years Michael Harrison has produced some spectacular pantomimes excelling in staging, special effects, costumes and choreography and versions of these productions now spend Christmas at the largest regional venues.

This show was designed as a one-off in 2020 but when it was cut short early by covid restrictions it became inevitable that it would return this year with some cast availability modifications. Indeed, those upgrade the show into a joyous uplifting celebration of the venue with Donny Osmond headlining and reminiscing about a royal variety show there some fifty years ago and the gorgeous high kicking Tiller Girls being reformed to grace the stage again. It is NOT a Pantomime but a celebration of some of the elements that are included in Pantomime and is billed as a “Feel-good spectacular”.
Blog Design by pipdig