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My First Panto, Goldilocks and the Three Bears review (online)




So can panto survive Covid-19?

The Garage in Norwich (which is twinned with the Workshop in Lynn) brought audiences an innovative online experience, by remimagining a classic fairytale Goldilocks and the Three Bears, as a Western-style comedy for kids.

This novel approach to panto certainly beats the long queues, overpriced snacks and sticky kids usually experienced at the theatre around Christmas.

Hanna Khogali as Goldilocks, TJ Holmes as Mama Bear and James Pattison as Papa Bear in Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Workshop in King's Lynn. Photo: TMS Media (43491007)
Hanna Khogali as Goldilocks, TJ Holmes as Mama Bear and James Pattison as Papa Bear in Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Workshop in King's Lynn. Photo: TMS Media (43491007)

The panto opens with a yokel-tastic ditty by the three actors, which at first glance, was slightly confusing.

I didn't see how the desert setting, old country house and 1920's depression aesthetic would translate into fairytale magic.

However, fur-st glances can be deceiving as the show continued, the Western theme proved to be a refreshing take on the tale.

TJ Holmes as Mama Bear and James Pattison as Papa Bear in My First Panto. Photo: TMS Media (43491009)
TJ Holmes as Mama Bear and James Pattison as Papa Bear in My First Panto. Photo: TMS Media (43491009)

The children in the audience were leaping and bounding across to the sofa to the tunes and found the antics of Mama and Papa Bear hilarious.

However there was one question. It's not Panto without a good old "Oh yes he is!" back and forth, and I was curious as to how this would play out.

The Garage had this covered, as Baby Bear (played by a puppet) would scamper and hide behind the actors, with the famous (or infamous) words of quintessential panto popped up on screen in large letters.

The children were laughing and shouting, and a novel twist to the tale was the element of interactivity. The actors on screen allowed the audience to choose the way the story went and gave two options on screen.

This was a great way to keep the children entertained throughout, and engaged in the story. This is no mean feat, considering most children have access to an array of smart devices and have the attention span of a small rodent, or possibly an insect.

As Mama and Papa bear head off to a Rodeo we are introduced to Goldilocks. We first hear whispers of her as a "bandit" on the loose, and her solo performance doesn't disappoint.

She describes herself as the "nastiest" but "cutest" girl in the West. This is Goldilocks 2.0 - with attitude.

The bears, in a contrast to the initial tale written in 1837, are actually scared of Goldilocks instead of the other way around. Again, another yet surprising twist from the Garage that gives it a more contemporary feel.

With pranks and jokes a plenty, the children were giggling and dancing along for the whole production.

Theodore, 5, described it as "Amazing," and said, "My favorite character is Papa bear he is so funny, especially with porridge in his pants!"

Noah, aged seven, said: "I loved dancing along I'm glad we watched it. It's better than Xbox."

With the world adapting and changing to Covid-19 in 2020 its good to see that tradition has been kept alive, it was an authentic Panto feel right at home.

That being said, the overpriced snacks were greatly missed.

Eve Tawfick

To watch go to My First Panto https://theworkshop.org.uk/



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