BWW Review: GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE MUSKETEERS, Battersea Arts Centre
Comedy trio Sleeping Trees bring Christmas to Battersea Arts Centre with their latest fairy-tale mash-up. After Cinderella and the Beanstalk and Scrooge and the Seven Dwarves, James Dunnell-Smith, Joshua George Smith, and John Woodburn venture into Wonderland in classic Sleeping Trees style. Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers is rambunctious and properly laugh-out-loud funny.
We follow as James, Josh, and John (and their friend Ben, aka Ben Hales, who co-wrote the play with them and curated the music too) as they find their nana's old storybook. The collection is, however, missing some of the pages. A rowdy race against time ensues, and Goldilocks will have to set off with the help of a bunch of unexpected heroes.
Directed by Kerry Frampton, the show is snappy, entertaining, and designed to suit all ages. The relaxed nature of every performance (part of the venue's journey to become relaxed in its entirety) adapts well to the make believe quality of the piece as well as its interactive angle.
The jokes are sensationally innocent, creating a wholesome and warm comedy that lands without incidents nor awkwardness. The traditional characters stray from their plot-lines to recover their endings with energetic antics, and in doing so end up facing alarmed security systems, a delightfully sadistic Alice in Wonderland, and even a battle of epic proportions.
The quick costume changes add to the hilarity of the production and turn it into a silly tour de force for the actors. Zahra Mansouri's set design boosts the visual gags and moves the action through different locations aided by Pablo Bas Fernandez's lighting.
The company look like they're having a ball on stage, and their fun is unavoidably infectious. The script is quick and refined in its uncomplicated humour, making Goldilocks and the Three Musketeers a must-see in the plethora of pantos that London has to offer.
Image courtesy of The Other Richard