Andrew Abbott's Blog

Thursday, 7 January 2016

‘Allo ‘allo. What’s all this pantomime?

Sat in our seats at last years panto at Lincoln Theatre Royal we were assured by Cannon and Ball that they would be returning for an eighth year. We thought no more about it until the nights began to draw in when, much to our surprise, no sign of Tommy and Bobby, we were getting Vickie Michelle and Martin Daniels. I think underwhelmed was my first reaction, Cannon and Ball were a Christmas institution in Lincoln.

I’ve still not seen any kind of explanation of why Cannon and Ball decamped to Hull, money perhaps? My own theory, having met the comedians previously and been told that Tommy Cannon liked to go home each evening after the performance, is distance. I presume Tommy lives in the north west and Hull is a lot more commutable than Lincoln.

As regular panto goers and yes, rock on Tommy, fans of the duo we were undecided whether to bother going. As it turned out we were very glad we did. Normally we would go on a Friday or Saturday at the end of the run but went on a Wednesday this year due to other commitments and it was quite a surprise to see the auditorium considerably quieter than usual which was a shame because it’s a really good pantomime.

Vickie Michelle is still a well known celebrity (do you see where I’m going here?). Would she make a good baddie as the wicked fairy? Yes-ish but I do have to say any slight deficiencies in adapting to the role are more than made up, for us chaps of a certain age, by her statuesque appearance. She can come and stir my cauldron any time she likes and the children (including us) enjoyed booing her and she connected to the audience very well.

Regular baddie Peter Amory was rather upstaged as Beauty’s father, the King and appeared to be torn between kindly monarch and villain which is a shame because when he’s bad he’s very very bad and I’ve greatly enjoyed his previous roles in the panto, no matter, he’s still good value and is another who interacts well with the audience. His role just fell between two stools for me.

The Lincolnshire Echo described Martin Daniels as stealing the show, who am I to argue? My regular football companion, Stewart thought his magic tricks were a bit see through but I thought they were, well magic. He certainly led the line here and I could see myself speaking to our regular panto friends in to seeing Daniels again when he appears in his comedy show at the theatre later in the year. You’ll like that. Not a lot!

The handsome prince was handsome and could sing and dance well. Beauty less so but very easy on the eye and the young dancers were, as usual very charming not forgetting regular dame Steve Barclay, always on hand to give us some corny jokes.

All in all then a very good night at the Royal, once again and one in which we certainly were not saying “get me out of here!”

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