Review by Karen Wyatt-Epapara
We arrived at the Regent Centre to find a heaving foyer and an almost sell-out audience for the Glad Rag Production Company’s Christmas Spectacular. As this was the first time I had seen a show from this company, I didn’t know what to expect, but clearly the buzzing crowds knew we were in for a festive treat.
And they weren’t wrong. ‘Spectacular’ was certainly the word for this show, with colourful costuming, a simple but effective set and oodles of talent on display.
The production opened to the Santa’s elves busily preparing for Christmas. Santa’s daughter Joy is determined to make her mark, but there is someone plotting against them. When Rudolph goes missing, Santa sets off to find him, and the elves are left to fight the frost that is threatening to ruin Christmas.
While most of the cast are based locally, all are professionally trained musical theatre practitioners – and it showed. They performed a variety of numbers from traditional carols and popular Christmas songs to songs adapted from West End musicals.
In true Christmas show style, the audience were encouraged to join in, and a boo for the baddy and help for the elves was a regular feature. There were plenty of laughs, especially when the cast made subtle digs at themselves and the show’s format. There were traditional pantomime skits too, which allowed the cast to show off their acrobatic prowess.
Bella Kane as Joy and Edward Brennan as Squash the elf made a heartwarming pairing, showing that friendship can overcome adversity.
Albey Brookes was impressive as Jack Frost, both in his characterisation and his singing ability, with a swagger befitting any pantomime villain.
The lead actors were completed by Adam Myers as Santa, Kim Holder as Ivy and Lydia Shaw as Merry.
The ensemble of Kristiana Absalom, Samantha Bliss, Heather Davies, Jessica Fossey, Elliott Lucas, Ollie Payne and Carly Simmerling was excellent at both singing and dancing.
The cast was rounded up with a rotating junior ensemble. On the day I saw the show, this talented group of young performers aged seven to 11 consisted of Olivia Crutcher, Isabelle Cuff, Faye Shenton Puckett, Edwin Bovett, Isla Eaton, Toby Golding, Matilda Thorne and Valentina Francois.
If you haven’t booked to see a pantomime this Christmas, I can heartily recommend the Regent’s Christmas Spectacular. The show runs until Christmas Eve and there are a handful of tickets left. Don’t miss out!
Please share post:
Follow us on