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REVIEW: 'Tweedy's Reduced Panto' at the Everyman Theatre


REVIEW: “Tweedy's Reduced Panto” at the Everyman Theatre

“British panto was made for Covid”, I hear the woman (sitting two meters away from me) say to her kids. As we settled into our bubbled seats awaiting curtain up, on our first cautious family outing to any live theatre since February,  I wasn’t entirely sure she’d quite understood the significance of what she was saying. But you know what, she was absolutely right.

Oh how I’d forgotten!!! Forgotten how much watching live singing and dancing lifts your soul. How clapping your hands and stomping your feet in a room full of strangers, all finding common hilarity in the same handful of people making us laugh at the same current affair, political gaffs, covid-innuendos, all succeeding spectacularly in finding the base humour in all that is this pandemic.

The context is set: The crew and set designers have been furloughed, the actors have had to bubble, and with the reduced troop holding the reigns, really, anything and everything is expected to go wrong tonight. And of course it does. But, as a nation we have learnt, if nothing else these past months, that we are a flexible and adaptable bunch. A plot? Who needs a plot. Who these days has the luxury of a plot?! What this performance lacked in plot (it spans 14 pantomime storylines), it make up for in what we NEED - stunts, sketches, and really rather brilliant singing and dancing that had nearly every adult in the room reminiscing the last time they were in a Tina Turner mosh pit. Or on a table top screaming out YMCA. Ah, those were the days.

But these are still the days! Different, undoubtedly (thumbs up encouraged rather than shouting), and yeah, I was wearing a mask. But I forgot I was wearing a mask, and I danced, and I lapped up the Tier jokes, the stockpiling gaffs, the nod to lockdown weight-gain and hair disasters, 2m distancing and hand sanitising rules and the constantly changing and confusing government messaging. We may all have experienced 2020 in our own unique ways, but my goodness, so many shared experiences bind us.

If you are as well overdue fun as we were - if you want a variety show that veers from the best one-man rendition sketch of Rapunzel I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching, to the most hilarious experience of Snow White’s dwarfs singing a helium induced version of Dance Monkey - then honestly, you’ve just got to get hold of some tickets and go.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the crew, the actors, the Everyman staff and all who are involved in making this happen, and doing it so well.

The woman was right. Covid was made for panto - done safely - the material and skill all remains there to bind us in good humour, normalcy, and hope, in these very strange times.

Tweedy's Reduced Panto at the Everyman Theatre runs until 3 January 2021 - book online (limited availabilty)


Rubalie
Explore Gloucestershire
11 December 2020





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