Review: Goldilocks, the Norfolk panto which is not too hot and not too cold and just right for tinies

TJ Holmes as Mama Bear and James Pattison as Papa Bear in My First Panto: Goldilocks and the Three Bears

TJ Holmes as Mama Bear and James Pattison as Papa Bear in My First Panto: Goldilocks and the Three Bears - Credit: TMS Media

There’s still time to enjoy a festive panto with Norfolk’s wonderful My First Panto team. 

In previous years the exceptionally creative pantomimes and plays for the very young have involved babies, toddlers and small children joining in with the fun on stage as well as from the audience. 

This year Goldilocks and the Three Bears has taken the kind of re-imagining of theatre which once had entire audiences sharing the stage with performers and worked its interactive, child-centred magic to produce a streamed panto to watch at home. 

And it’s not just the way you watch that is different. In Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the porridge-stealing, chair-breaking, bed-stealing heroine is naughtier than the usual and the bears are a lot more Wild West. 

Fans of previous My First Panto shows will be delighted to know that the performers are just as brilliant as ever, switching from playing orchestral musical instruments to clowning at the drop of a (panto-dame or porridge-soused) hat, all the while ensuring the audience is engaged in everything from learning dance moves to pretend cooking and food fights to searching for baby bear. 


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Streaming the fun means children get the chance at several points during the story to direct the action – including choosing between adding worms or chilli to the porridge pot, hearing a cowboy joke or a bear joke and deciding and just how naughty Goldilocks should be. Thanks to this kind of technical wizardry (plus the addition of a couple of props, perhaps a bowl and wooden spoon per child) the magic of live theatre capers right into your living room. 

Hanna Khogali as Goldilocks, TJ Holmes as Mama Bear and James Pattison as Papa Bear in My First Panto: Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Hanna Khogali as Goldilocks, TJ Holmes as Mama Bear and James Pattison as Papa Bear in My First Panto: Goldilocks and the Three Bears - Credit: TMS Media

Goldilocks and the Three Bears was written and directed by Daniel Burgess who began his performing career with the Norwich Theatre Royal Youth Company. His shows, including My First Panto: Rapunzel and My First Play: A Midsummer Night’s Nap, (yes, the innovative shows have included Shakespeare for tinies too), have always been impressive, this year the inventiveness has reached a whole new level of family fun.  

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Perhaps the (almost) last word should go to four-year-old Charlotte who, as the final song finished, stopped dancing and clapping long enough to say: "I want to watch it again!" 

Goldilocks and the Three Bears is aimed at under sevens and their families. The music is by Lloyd Gorman, also of Norfolk, with costumes by Norwich’s Kirsteen Wythe who designed costumes for the last five pantomimes at Norwich Theatre Royal as well as children’s TV show Trapped and Channel Four comedy VIP. The show stars Hanna Khogali as Goldilocks, James Pattison as Papa Bear and TJ Holmes as panto dame Mamma Bear and is produced by Norwich-based All-In Productions. It was filmed for streaming in the theatre at The Garage by Norwich-based Lambda Films and can be streamed as many times as you like over 48 hours with a £10.99 pass, or £15.99 for three months, available at https://thegarage.org.uk/panto/


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