Published Wednesday 11 December 2013 at 11:48 by Kevin Berry
For the fourth Christmas in succession Tony Lidington has put together a thoroughly joyful pantomime for the Georgian Theatre Royal, a pantomime thoroughly in keeping with this magical venue which is currently celebrating its 225th anniversary. A historical gem it might be but the GTR remains vivid and vibrant and very much alive.
Nathaniel Priestley (Prince Igor) Claire-Marie Seddon (Cinderella)
Lidington cherishes and champions pantomime as an art form. He brings elements from four centuries of panto, mixing them with modern humour and newly minted routines from the music hall tradition. It was good to hear so many Professor Stanley Unwinisms, malapropisms and spoonerisms in the script. The children in the audience loved them.
Lidington has never put on a Cinderella before, admitting that he approached Cinders with the respect and awe that other directors approach their first shot at Hamlet. He need not have worried. He aimed high and he got there, as did his magnificent cast of actor/musicians. Penny McDonald is outstanding as the fairy and the wicked stepmother. This is a visually beautiful pantomime, rather than merely pretty, that will live long in the memory.
Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond, North Yorkshire, December 11-January 5
Author/director: Tony Lidington
Producer: Georgian Theatre Royal
Cast: Penny McDonald, Nathaniel Priestley, Gary Bridgens, Jake England-Johns, Claire-Marie Seddon, Andy Burton, James McLean
Running time: 2hrs 35mins