Panto with pizzazz!Trish Beaver
Trish Beaver: This year's pantomime is a rollercoaster ride of special effects and side-splitting cracks that will make you get high on SA fevah!
A few years ago I felt that I had thoroughly outgrown pantos and was ready to give them a miss, but Janice Honeyman has pulled out all the stops this year and her wit and sharp humour shines like never before.
The popular theme of the Caribbean Pirates is a thinly veiled theme that pulls the whole South African panto formula together, it will appeal to the kids and tweens who thrill at the mention of Captain Jack Sparrow - arrggh!
The lead stars of this panto are excellent, especially the lead star (Robinson Crusoe – aka Robin LottaLove). He is played by hunky Carlo McFarlane, with his gorgeous smile and pearly whites. But to be fair, the whole cast is utterly talented. Each cast member shines in their own role. Not one person outshines the other.
Marc Lottering is fantastic as the boarding house mother Dame Lottaluv who trails along after her son Robin, who sets off on an adventure to rescue his true love.
Dame Lottaluv is a resourceful woman, and she enlists the help of a horny sailor, who has his sights set on being husband number four. Her rendition of the soulful song from Titanic (slightly modified of course) is hysterical.
The other brilliant comic of the show is Louise Saint-Claire who acts as the town mayor, Zanilla Zillion; her resemblance to Cape Town politician and iron lady Helen Zille is no accident – surely not. Her effort to collect taxes and clean up the streets is hysterical, her cellphone calls to “Juju” cause much mayhem and mirth. It is her gorgeous daughter (Tanya van Graan) that is the beauty of the town and of course the woman young Robin fancies.
The stage sets varying from coastal towns to deep African jungles are vivid and imaginative, and the musical scores for the show are just stunning. The mechanical props never cease to amaze – a jetski, a golfcart, a speedboat – and this year we have fireworks!
Honeyman’s choices of songs include some World Cup favourites - this is pure genius.
Fairy Floradora Fynbos (played by Judy Page) sings a song, Nobody Loves an Old Fairy; this is absolute magic and a tribute to the fact that Honeyman has chosen to include a cast of multi-generational talents in this vibrant show.
I would absolutely recommend this panto as a cure for the seasonal lethargy that seems to descend in November, so get into the groove and have a great belly laugh!
Venue: Johannesburg Theatre
Cast: Marc Lottering, Tanya van Graan, Carlo McFarlane, Kim Engelbrecht, Michael Richard, Louise Saint-Claire, Judy Page.
Book through Computicket.
The show runs until January 2 2011.
082 487 2765
Joburg Theatre Complex, Loveday Street Braamfontein Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa