Theatre, Panto
5 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

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Richmond's panto bounces back to top form for 2015 with Hayley Mills and old reliable Matthew Kelly.

I challenge you to find a more festive London theatre than Richmond’s local offering. Its cheery glow beckons you to the corner of Richmond Green, where you’ll be greeted by its busy, Christmassy atmosphere as soon you step into the tiny reception. Have no doubt, the locals here enjoy their pantomime and with three generations evident in a few parties it’s clear, for some, it’s become a family tradition. This year they have been rewarded with possibly the best panto seen in the borough for at least a decade.

Director Chris Jarvis, who also plays Buttons, has hit on the perfect formula – short, snappy scenes strewn with one-liners which it’s a job to keep up with, supplying a constant soundtrack of laughter from the audience.

Hayley Mills makes a strong panto debut with references to her age and career keeping the older generations chuckling, while seasonal stalwarts -- father and son Matthew Kelly and Matthew Rixon -- reprise their acclaimed Ugly Sisters double act from last year’s success in Wimbledon. But this isn’t really about the ‘stars’, indeed Richard Vincent’s Dandini possibly steals the first half. This is a magical, fun-filled, sing-a-long night that throws a couple of ponies and some real snow into the bargain as well. Highly recommended


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