Friday, 14 December 2012

The Three Musketeers - review (2)

Written by: Jessica Gardner (@JessyGardner)

Rosemary Branch Theatre, London

The Three Musketeers pantomime at the Rosemary Branch is certainly one for all, if you’re partial to any enjoyment in life then this small-scale show will fill you with enough festive cheer to cause a Christmas dinner stomach ache.

Photo: Bill Knight
Written by John Savournin, who also plays the hilarious and dreadfully naughty Mother Superior, this show provides originality whilst encompassing popular songs such as Say a Little Prayer For You and Total Eclipse Of the Heart, which had the whole audience roaring with delight. Famous Hymns were also tactfully rewritten for the show with great success. Savournin’s talents extend further as he also directs the show. He has clearly achieved an enormous feat, by not only constructing a fantastic show where he did not seem to lack in any of the three areas he put his hand to, but also by selling out the house.

Photo: Bill Knight
Despite the venue being on the small side, the show felt as if in a much larger theatre. This was partially down to the fantastic use of set that, despite filling the stage, did not crowd it. The energy and enthusiasm of the cast also helped to expand the modest space.

The cast proved witty, with excellent comic timing on top of their sonorous voices that filled the room. Aside from a few slight line slip ups and knocks into one another that could have been hidden better, the whole cast were commendable, with particular note to Nichola Jolley whose puss-in-boots-esque performance was the most engaging, funny, and dynamic, with the best fake French accent of the lot.

Photo: Bill Knight
The Three Musketeers ticks all the boxes of a classical pantomime, with the cheeky double entendres, the ironic use of ‘boys and girls’ in an adult only audience, and classic audience participation. However, whilst this may sound like a regular pantomime, it certainly is not. It is catered far more to an adult audience, meaning the Christmas tradition could be enjoyed on a higher level than just very simple childish laughs. You are taken on a typical fairy tale journey spiced up with modern references like ‘twitter’ and ‘gap years’ and led by the most northern, masculine and overly adorned Mother Superior there has ever been. This show is the perfect addition to any Christmas calendar and is perfectly complimented, if not heightened by a tipple, to get you in the right frame of mind to boo, hiss and have food thrown at you. 

This production runs until 9 January 2012

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