Goldilocks + the Three Bears, Sheringham

RICHARD BATSON Showbiz personalities have added some extra carats to Goldilocks as the classic tale is given a big-top spin in a little theatre.

RICHARD BATSON

Showbiz personalities have added some extra carats to Goldilocks as the classic tale is given a big-top spin in a little theatre.

A local cast has been bolstered by well-known names from stage and screen in a seaside stick of panto that has fun written right through the middle of it.

Hub of the action is “goody” circus boss Gerty Glitter, played by the doyen of dames Des Barrit.

In a masterclass performance he milks the script, teases and bullies the audience into participation and whips up waves of laughter without saying a word, thanks to facial contortions and shocking frocks.

Anglia television's Helen McDermott juggles her comedy, singing and ad-libbing talents as Macko the Clown, while her radio-presenter partner Paul Barnes has all the right “hiss-trionics” as Sir Silas Blackheart, the baddy circus rival.

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But there is more to this show than just the “names” helping to boost a theatre fund-raising effort. Local boy Ben Haslam impresses as the heart-throb ringmaster, partnered by sweet-voiced all-rounder Victoria George as Goldilocks.

Among the cameo roles, Janine Roebuck delights as fairy Big Belinda who has no need to wave her wand to create magic – only to sing with a soaring soprano voice.

Well done too for a team of young dancers – some coping with tricky footwork dressed in bear suits, and including pint-sized seven-year-old Eloise Heath as an aah-factor little starlet.

The music is varied, from classic Carmen to rock 'n' roll, and the pace pretty slick, even at the opening performance.

Superb scenery by Ian Westbrook adds depth to the little stage, and costumes by Jilly Gleave put extra sparkle to an already colourful show, which opened yesterday to a “mature” matinee audience.

But if you thought your pantomime days were “behind you” – think again and roll up for this show which has something for the young at heart of any age.

It runs until January 18 at Sheringham's Little Theatre. Box office: 01263 822347.

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