Rapunzel, Park Theatre, review: ‘Triumphant and zany’
- Credit: Archant
Audacious nonsense and unbridled joy are aplenty in Jez Bond’s fizzling Panto, says Caroline David.
Welcome back to the land of Waa – the Park Theatre’s zany imaginary world – and this year the fairy tale Rapunzel gets their unique brand of Panto makeover.
The King and Queen of Puss Puss are desperate to have a child but the evil Baron Teth has his eye on their crown and wheedles his way into the court where he blackmails them into giving him their baby daughter. Eighteen years later, the royals have given up hope of finding her until magnanimous Prince Corbyn rides through the land.
Artistic director Jez Bond directs as well as writes the text and music while co-writer Mark Cameron plays the Machiavellian Baron Teth. The creative team certainly enjoys their Christmas baby. On press night, Cameron stumbled over lines and played that to his advantage, breaking down the fourth wall like a stand-up comedian. Bond and Cameron are much indebted to the Marx brothers and the script fizzes with puns and word-associations. While some of the innuendos and surreal riffs will fly over the heads of the seven-plus target audience, the physical comedy won’t: my young companion laughed so hard during the tennis match sequence with its pauses and zinging, squelching ball-sounds, that he slipped off his seat.
The songs are superb with gospel numbers ‘Jubilation’ and dance track ‘Set Me Free’ as standouts. Rolan Bell as the King and Aretha Ayeh as Rapunzel are impressive vocalists. Alex Hope as Corbyn is a delightfully earnest hero.
You may also want to watch:
The nonsense is audacious and the joy unbridled. Jubilation indeed.
Rating: 4/5 stars
- 1 Islington man charged with murder of shooting victim Taylor Cox
- 2 Man in hospital with potentially 'life-changing' injuries following stabbing
- 3 Changes made to St Peter's LTN after Packington Estate used as rat run
- 4 Islington shooting victim named
- 5 Rise in London Covid rates, but people aged 25-30 can book vaccine
- 6 Phone snatcher admits guilt after robberies in Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets
- 7 Missing: Highgate woman known to frequent Camden and Islington areas
- 8 Largest beer garden in North London being built for Euro 2020
- 9 Manor Gardens Welfare Trust CEO awarded British Empire Medal
- 10 Murder investigation launched after teenager is shot in Islington