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Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Updated: Apr 2

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

St Helens Theatre Royal

Regal Entertainments

April 1-14, 2024

The cast of Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Theatre Royal St Helens. All pics: David Munn
The cast of Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Theatre Royal St Helens. All pics: David Munn

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Roll up, roll up - the circus is in town (sort of) as St Helens Theatre Royal & Regal Entertainments revive their 2021 panto hit Goldilocks and the Three Bears for Easter. 

This production was the venue’s first show after the easing of Covid restrictions, and it's nice to see it join the roster of pantos performed here throughout the year. 

The story centres around the battle for circus audiences between the warm-hearted and larger-than-life Dame Gertie (a welcome return for Richard Aucott, complete with some fabulous frocks for this Easter run and a brilliant Barbie-inspired outfit) and Conor Barrie’s sinister Baron Von Vippemall (think The Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang crossed with PT Barnum’s evil teutonic twin!)

The eponymous three bears (Warren Donnelly, Hannah Riley and Ionica Adriana) are set to become the star attraction - but at whose Big Top? And will Goldilocks (a charming Katy McKenna) and the Ringmaster (a dashing Benjamin Keith) manage to confess their love for each other before the curtain falls? The circus setting gives the welcome excuse for some nice variety performances, including canine performers Doggy Delights and a lovely silks aerial display from Callum Fairfield. 

Returning in the comic role of Silly Billy is Regal regular and genuine audience favourite Lewis Devine. 

The pairing of Devine and Barrie is a hoot, in particular the genuinely hilarious scene that sees Barrie’s Von Vippemall dressed as a Bee (long story). The stagecraft and corpsing goes down a storm with the audience and even this seasoned panto-goer couldn’t tell if some of the pratfalls were staged or genuine. 

The show is packed with colour and sparkles and director Chantelle Nolan keeps things zipping along at a pace. 

The song choices could perhaps reflect current hits a little better (the show is crying out for a Greatest Showman number to close Act 1) given the reception for current social media faves Texas Hold ‘Em and I’m Just Ken from the youngsters. A few more numbers from musicals might have been nice too, given the strength of the voices on display. Minor quibbles, both. 

As ever, Regal and the Theatre Royal deserve praise for their commitment to reasonably-priced pantos that help families enjoy live theatre throughout the year. 

They will be back in October half-term with Sleeping Beauty followed by Snow White at Christmas. 

More info and tickets here


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