BWW Review: GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS, King's Theatre, Edinburgh
Auntie May and her husband Andy McReekie run the best circus in town and they're looking for the star of their show. Determined to sabotage their efforts is Baron Von Vinklebottom who runs a rival circus and believes in keeping animals in cages and whipping them. When Von Vinklebottom gets wind of the fact the McReekie's have acquired three talking bears he forms a dastardly plan to capture the bears for himself.
A big draw for many with the Edinburgh King's panto is the trio who have been doing it for over two decades- Grant Stott, Allan Stewart and Andy Gray. Gray was absent last year due to ill health and the way the audience erupted when he stepped onstage- he had definitely been missed! The three work so well together and their chaotic energy really adds something to a lot of the jokes. Some of the gags provoke eye rolls but the kids love them and any hint of innuendo goes straight over their heads.
The traditional plot of Goldilocks is somewhat lost among the circus extravaganza, but I don't really think anybody minds or even notices. A fun twist is that the talking bears are Fifers bears "somebody's been eating my porridge eh" which never got old.
There's also quite a sweet subplot as Joey the Clown (Jordan Young) who performs in the McReekie circus is secretly in love with Goldilocks (Gillian Parkhouse) and wants to impress her.
What really sets this pantomime apart from the others is the scale of spectacle. Having the story take place in a circus allows for death defying stunts and a seriously impressive motorbike display from The Beserk Riders. Much like many of the children in the audience, I was sitting with my mouth hanging open for most of that part of the show!
All the traditional elements of pantomime are here- the audience are invited to boo, hiss and cheer throughout, but there's definitely a modern feel to this production. There really is something for everyone as the songs involved are traditional Scots panto, pop hits from this year and I was particularly delighted to hear "Let Me Be Your Star" from much-loved though short-lived musical series SMASH!
This was my first year venturing through to the King's Theatre Edinburgh for their annual pantomime but it certainly won't be my last!
Goldilocks and the Three Bears runs at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh until 19 January.