REVIEW: ‘Potted Panto’ at the Garrick Theatre

A Christmas production of ‘Potted Panto‘ comes to the West End this Christmas for a bit of silly fun.

The concept; seven pantomimes told in just seventy minutes. From Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, to Cinderella and Dick Whittington, some of the UK’s most loved festive shows are brought to life.

The two performers, Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner gave good, high energy performances, with additional support by Jacob Jackson and Charlotte Payne. Jacob and Charlotte’s small roles in this show were welcomed and gave the production a more well rounded feeling rather than just watching the two main actors the whole time.

The running gag throughout the show is that one of them wants to include ‘A Christmas Carol’ but isn’t allowed because it isn’t a pantomime. This results in the final panto covered being a hybrid of ‘Aladdin’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’ which becomes more confusing than it is entertaining.

On a more personal note, I felt rather uncomfortable with all of the audience participation and singing along during the show as Government guidelines for indoor theatre clearly state that these should not be encouraged. The government website states “when members of the public are attending performances, organisers should ensure that steps are taken to avoid audiences needing to unduly raise their voices to each other, such as shouting, chanting and singing along”. Egging the audience on to shout the classic retorts like “he’s behind you” and the “which side of the audience can sing the loudest” competition made me feel like I was sitting in a hotbed of potential disease.

‘Potted Panto’ is a fun hour out with the kids but lacks some substance.

★★★

Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Tristram Kenton