The Panto That Nearly Never Was

Christian Patterson

Theatr Clwyd

To January 3 2021 (online,

Run time: 1hr 20min (no interval)

Having a lovely time online: Theatr Clwyd's now-streaming Panto That Nearly Never Was. All pics: Dafydd Owen, Ffotonant

This online production is an enterprising and highly-entertaining response to the current closure of Welsh theatres to live audiences because of Covid restrictions.

The recording was made in front of a live, socially-distanced audience – which adds to the authenticity of the performance. Many other panto productions have been cancelled and this show's theme is clearly topical: Tony the Town Crier (Luke Thornton) sorrowfully announces the losses as the show begins.

Christian Pattinson’s storyline turns this negative into a positive by encouraging the forces of good – the fairy Maybelline (Chiome Uma), and the evil witch, Bella Trix (Alice McKenna) to work together to rescue pantomime.

The action is aided and abetted by the Dame, Deni Dolittle (brilliantly played by Daniel Lloyd) and her son Dylan (Ben Locke). They journey to the Land That Never Was to seek the help of Wizard Phyl (Phylip Harries), who appears via Zoom, and his assistant Helena Henderson (Lynwen Has Roberts).

In time honoured tradition, panto is saved, the witch renounces her wicked ways and all ends happily.

This multi-talented cast of actors, musicians and dancers, under director Tamara Harvey and MD Tayo Akinbode, delivers a fast-moving musical comedy within the well-established traditions of rock 'n’ roll panto.

Apart from the cast, the stars of this production are designer Adrian Gee and the wardrobe team of Michael Syne, Alison Hartnell and Bridie Przibram, who produced suitably-outrageous costumes for one and all.

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