Once Upon a Time… well actually from November to January, you can experience some of your favourite stories as never before, yes boys and girls, the curtain is being raised… it’s panto season in old London town.
We got together cast and creatives from this year’s adult pantos at Above The Stag, The RVT and The Two Brewers to find out more.
The boy who lived
Matthew Baldwin as Geppetta, Christopher Lane as Figero Fox
Above The Stag is the UK’s only full time LGBT+ theatre and the annual panto is their biggest show of the year. For 2019 the team are tackling the classic story of a boy who wanted to be real in a brand new show, Pinocchio – No Strings Attached. We spoke to their returning dame, Matthew Baldwin to find out more.
“In Pinocchio – No Strings Attached I play Geppetta, a very beautiful woman, who’s on the run after being framed for stealing a painting of a bottom from the Pope… She lives in an Italian village called Placenta and she’s so lonely and desperate for a child that she makes a puppet, who after some magical intervention comes to life and that’s when the adventures really start. It’s a brand new specially written panto by John Bradford and Martin Hooper packed with filthy jokes and fantastic original songs. You get everything you need in a panto, the Princess, Prince, the Dame, a villain, big musical numbers, fantastic sets and much more. They really throw everything at this and I love it.”
Pinocchio – No Strings Attached is on now until 11 January.
Tickets from abovethestag.com
Above The Stag, 72 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, SE1.
Poppycock as Merry Poppers, Priz as Michael Wanks
For the past three years Two Box Productions at The Two Brewers have won the Boyz Award for best panto with their takes on Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Star Wars. This year they are taking on the most famous nanny in the world as they offer more than a spoonful of sugar with Merry Poppers. We spoke to writer and director Lawrence Bolton to find out what’s in the carpet bag.
“Merry Poppers is the story of homosexuals Michael and John Wanks, who are having a crisis and looking for a third. Enter this odd heterosexual woman who believes she’s every gay’s best friend just because she always asks the DJ to play Taylor Swift. She takes the boys on a series of adventures and introduces them to her strange friends. Although the story is largely Mary Poppins inspired we are also in the world of classic family musicals, so we meet The Twink Snatcher, who’s trying to round up all the twinks for his shitty shitty gang bang. We have a fantastic cast including Poppycock and loads of song parodies and really inappropriate laughs. Spit spot.”
Merry Poppers is on from December 11.
Tickets from outsavvy.com
The Two Brewers, 114 Clapham High Street, SW4.
A slippery tale
Jim Lavender as Pleasure Garden, Faye Reeves as Fairy Godmother
Cinderella is the most famous classic pantomime story and in this year’s RVT production it has become, Slipped – Cinderella Rebooted. Telling the parts of the story we guarantee you’ve never heard before, the show is small on scenery, but gigantic on laughs. We spoke to Jim Lavender and Faye Reeves to find out the whole shoe story.
“I am absolutely loving being a part of the RVT panto this year, it really feels like a special show. I know what Boyz readers are thinking though: moi? Cast as an ugly stepsister? It cannot be! Well I would like to remind you all that I am very versatile. I’m also big into playing parts against my normal casting, just to shake things up, so really the panto this year is just taking things to the next level. It’s a hilarious and barmy show, which can’t be missed. Come see me in my groundbreaking and boundary-pushing role of Pleasure Garden. The others are excellent also, which is always a plus.”
“This year I play the pivotal roles of Fairy Godmother, Buttons, Clock and a couple of others for good measure. The RVT panto is fast-paced, witty and wild with plenty of sassy songs, larger than life characters and of course, a serious dusting of glitter, I mean magic!”
Slipped is on from 28 November.
Tickets from vauxhalltavern.com
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11.
Photos by chrisjepson.com, special thanks to Above The Stag.