A New Take on Traditional Christmas Pantos
Penny Flood reviews Lost Happy Endings at The Tabard Theatre
Question: What would happen if there were no happy endings and nobody lived happily ever after?
Answer: The prince wouldn’t have married Cinderella, the woodsman wouldn’t have rescued Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother from the wolf’s tummy, Snow White would have swallowed the poisoned apple and died, and so on.
A scary thought that offers a new take on the traditional Christmas panto, based on a poem by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
Jub (Lauren Lyle) is an imp whose job it is to collect all the happy endings at night and send them out in the morning ready for the next night’s story telling. But one night Jub’s sack of happy endings is stolen by a wicked witch (Kate Scott), and Jub and her friends Callouh (Owen Pullar) and Tum (Simon Robinson) have to get it back. The cast of four throw their hearts into it, playing lot of characters with enormous enthusiasm and energy and great singing voices. The main narrative is neatly interspersed with fairy stories, some going back to the gristly originals of the Brothers Grimm, and a passing nod to Walt Disney.
To carry it off the Tabard stage has been converted into an impressive, enchanted forest, with big creepy trees, lots of hiding places and green dry ice to add to the atmosphere, all combined with clever music and lighting and witty special effects.
Slick direction is by Matt Harrison who also directed the other Tabard productions Please Wait Patiently and Pirates of Penzance.
It’s a clever, witty, script and at just over 60 minutes it’s short and sweet but its gristly bits are perhaps too scary for the very young.
The Lost Happy Endings plays at The Tabard Theatre from Wednesday 17 December to Sunday 4 January. Tickets are priced £15 - £17. Group rate £12 per ticket. There are also matinee performances.
December 26, 2014