You’ll be entertained by the classic story of Cinderella with all the normal panto jokes (Oh yes you will!). Interacting with the audience was in full swing, although I did feel a little sorry for Arnold who was sitting in the front row. The Ugly Sisters, played by men as is tradition, were chatting him up like mad and even went so far as to suggest he liked them so much he might need wet wipes for a little accident! Perhaps the humour will be a little more restrained for performances where kids are present, but they do put on a good show.
As you enter London’s Charing Cross Theatre you’ll be handed an iPad all set up with a special app for the pantomime. Then the fairy godmother will sprinkle a little magic dust to pause the show and introduce one of eight shopping experiences.
Don’t worry you won’t be expected to dip into your PayPal account there and then, you’ll simply be prompted to select a gift for your daughter, son, mother, father etc from the curated selection on your iPad. At the end of the show you have the option to have your selections emailed to you. We did and unsurprisingly the products are from some of the largest retailers on eBay – eBay wouldn’t want them to run out of stock when you went to purchase after the show.
To be honest it’s all very clever and massively slick. It doesn’t detract from the show (in fact truth be told the shopping part is so well done it’s probably better than the pantomime itself. Dan being a bit of a theatre buff reckons the lighting wasn’t top rate and the singing could have been better, but you know what – it’s Panto and it’s supposed to be all a bit naff.
If you’re in London with an hour to spare on either Friday the 29th at 1pm or Saturday the 30th at 11am, it’s well worth the six quid (which goes to charity) to attend. It’s a bit of light hearted fun with a bit of eBay shopping inspiration. Get your on eBay.
Panto looks like a bit of a hoot but it’s actually one of the toughest theatre genres to get right. It should play to both adults and kids and be fast-paced and hilarious. This isn’t top-rate panto and Heaven, a gay nightclub, just across the arcade seems to have had an influence. The songs are clubbing anthems and the ugly sisters owe more to drag queens than the great dames of Panto. That said, the shopping interludes are well integrated and the tablet tech worked well.