Rapunzel let down her hair as panto season got underway at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds – and there is only one word appropriate for describing the show – ‘wicked’.
That is good wicked not a bad wicked, as one of the reoccuring themes of the show includes the use of the word ‘wicked’ in modern language.
The panto is worth seeing alone for an amazing energetic and hilarious performance by dame Hyacinth Horseradish (Steve Wickenden) and Bill and Ben characters Rosemary (Nerrine Skinner) and Parsley (Alex Wadham) to the tune of the 12 days of Christmas – it gets my vote as the best panto song ever.
Aiden Crawford was brilliant as the rapping Prince Rapscallion, like a Norfolk version of Dizzee Rascal on a quest to save his lovely golden voiced ‘Punzel’ (Jasmine Gur).
Joanne Heywood stole the show as the evil Ragwort, dishing out insults to the audience and strutting her stuff as she sang versions of Michael Jackson’s Bad and Christine Aguilera’s Fighter – the latter of which was visually stunning complete with fireworks and a moving tower.
The show was a little bit slow off the pace compared to some of the theatre’s pantos of the past – but that is my only criticism and it proved to be well worth the wait.
I took my children to Friday’s opening night – afterwards my seven-year-old daughter Caitlin said she had been bored, possibly because she is seven going on seventeen – but me and my-five-year-old son Charlie loved the show and seemed to be in the large majority of the rest of the audience.
There were plenty of boos, shouts of ‘Behind you’, love, loss, songs, celebration and gags galore.
‘Punzel’ is a great show for the young and the young at heart. 8/10