11 December 2014 to 31 January 2015
Reviewed by Tracey Flintham
with Raya (age 7)
The York Theatre Royal is in an easily accessible location with many bus stops and car parks close by. We parked in Bootham Row car park which was a very convenient 2 minute walk to the theatre. The evening car park price is a fixed rate of £2.
On arriving at the theatre, we could hear a band playing outside and my 7 year old took great delight in walking up the red carpet laid out for the press guests. There were signs directing us onto the second floor where our tickets were being held. We were greeted and welcomed and collected our tickets.
There was a cafe within the theatre which was serving an assortment of homemade cakes, buns, pies and an assortment of cooked dinners. There was also several bar areas and tables set out selling confectionary, programmes, light up wands and fairy wings for children which were reasonably priced.
We were informed 5 minutes before the production was due to start so we made our way into the dress circle, where we were directed to our seats in the front row. It was very clean, tidy and the seats were comfortable. The performance started just after 7.30pm with the villagers of Tingly Bottom and the star of the show, Old Mother Goose, played by Berwick Kaler floated down onto the stage. We are introduced to the Goosegog family and the youngest Goosegog who is about to get a surprise when the fairy cake Brenda comes to visit him. With lots of boos we were introduced to the shows baddie – The Dreaded Lurgi and he lays out his plans to corrupt all the good people and turn them evil.
The show has been cleverly written with a script that really does suit all ages. Many of the actors have performed in the pantomime for many years and this was Berwick Kaler’s 36th year as the pantomime dame. There are all the elements of a great pantomime, with the usual boos, “he’s behind you” scenes and a sing-a-long at the end of the show, when wagon wheel biscuits are thrown into the audience. There are lots of local references and adult humour to keep the adults entertained and plenty of slapstick scenes that the children all enjoyed. In particular my daughter enjoyed the water bed and surfing scene. The stage set is changed several times and different effects are used which made it visually entertaining as well.
The actors are all very good with great chemistry on stage and genuinely enjoy what they’re doing whilst not taking it all too seriously.
Although a little different to what you’d normally expect from a pantomime, without a doubt, this is the best one I have ever seen. My daughter described it as awesome in the car on the way home and it really was! I would recommend this as a pantomime to suit all ages and I will definitely be going to the 2015 production at the York Theatre Royal.
Tickets cost from £11 to £28.50 (plus £1 transaction fee).
Old Mother Goose is at the York Theatre Royal until 31 January 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01904 623568.
York Theatre Royal, St. Leonard’s Place, York, YO1 7HD | 01904 623568