Once again, the Kings will be the panto to beat this Christmas – though it would seem unlikely any other shows are going to come close.
The perfect pantomime venue, so rich in history and atmosphere, has got pretty much the perfect pantomime, a show which flows with a maximum of wit, spirit and festive fun.
The show-stealer is Jack Edwards’ glorious turn as Sarah Spoilit. Edwards gets it absolutely spot on. So many dames can be just a bit…well.. weird. Edwards nails it, huge on audience rapport, effortlessly spontaneous and cheeky in just the right measure.
Melinda Messenger similarly sparkles as Fairy Sparkle, and Anita Harris is nicely malevolent as Queen Malevola, blaming her mirror for the awful jealously which makes her want to do away with poor Snow White, an enchanting, fresh performance from Hannah Lowther.
Marcus Patrick preens magnificently as The Huntsman; Simon Grant has got a fine comic touch as Muddles; and Jordan Adams does plenty with precisely the prince role that can so often be so colourless.
The show is remarkably polished so early in the run – but it’s still shot through with an infectious spontaneity. And when the cast is having this much fun, it’s irresistible to the rest of us.
The Twelve Days of Christmas is beautifully done, pure comic mayhem. But it’s Jack Edwards’ dame that’s the abiding memory.
A great night in a truly great theatre for panto.
Tickets on http://kingsportsmouth.co.uk