Review Round Up: Pantoland, London Palladium

We round up the reviews for the London Palladium’s festive offering…

WhatsOnStage: **** “There’s an irony in the fact that Michael Harrison’s production sets out to celebrate the history of panto at the Palladium, with the stage framed by posters from productions gone by, but doesn’t actually constitute a pantomime. Having said that, when the cast are as high calibre as this, the lack of a recognisable story seems a minor quibble.”

iNews: *** “A decidedly mixed bag, then; but if you’re up for an uncomplicated, nostalgic laugh, this just might tinkle your jingle bells.”

Evening Standard: ***** “Think of the most unlikely stage pairing, and you’re unlikely to beat Julian Clary performing a duet with… Donny Osmond. Throw in the Tiller Girls – the high-kicking dance troupe, with feathers – Gary Wilmot doing a song about every station on the Underground to the tune of the can-can, Nigel Havers as a Christmas pudding, and an actual flying carpet in which Clary and Jac Yarrow turn upside down mid-air, and you get a flavour of Pantoland at the Palladium. It’s a blast.”

London Theatre.co.uk:**** “Visually, Pantoland at the Palladium is a glossy, striking affair. Ian Westbrook’s set design, Ben Cracknell’s lighting design, and Hugh Durrant’s costume design complement each other, resulting in a grand variety show to honour Palladium pantomime as an institution. Dig a little deeper into Pantoland, and it’s almost too clean for comfort. The joy of pantomime can come in the mistakes, and with no room for error, Pantoland is too pristine for its own good. Even so, and to change a Donny Osmond lyric, I love theatre for a reason, let the reason be pantomime.”

Broadway World: ***** “Pantoland At The London Palladium doesn’t follow any traditional pantomime script and this production is all the better for it. With such an all-star cast, the time is better spent allowing each act to showcase their talents rather than trying to shoehorn in a vague plot. Having seen Qdos productions up and down the country, I’m familiar with several of the tricks and gags used in this show. Rather than feeling like a rehash of old material, this is more of a greatest hits and the physical humour is timed perfectly.”

British Theatre Guide: “Producers must be risk averse in the current climate, but when other venues have been able to serve up something entirely fresh, let’s hope 2022’s Palladium pantomime sees a return to form rather than simply re-playing the past.”

The Stage:*** “Spectacular if uneven seasonal variety show featuring Donny Osmond, Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Gary Wilmot and Nigel Havers, celebrating the best of the recent Palladium pantomimes.”

The Telegraph: ** “Julian Clary remains a dangerous live presence, but the Palladium’s annual show is looking like a case of adult-flavoured style over content.”

The Times:*** “Since the Palladium pantomimes have come so close to just being flat-out variety shows in their five-year recent history, why not just abandon any lingering fig leaf of fairytale and get on with the bawdy or spectacular or beautifully bananas set pieces?”

Pantoland will play at the London Palladium  until the 9th January 2022. To book tickets click here 

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