The audience are ‘Hooked’ as Bradley steals the showDec 10, 2014
The theatre has built a great reputation for its festive entertainment writes Andrew Gibbs, built largely on the back of the appearances of one man back in 2006 and 2007.
Then, actor, comedian and presenter Bradley Walsh brought the house down in Aladdin and Cinderella. Now Bradley’s back and in sparkling panto form, just as you would hope.
He’s also helped in no small measure by one of the strongest casts at a Milton Keynes Theatre pantomime for many a year. Dance troupe Flawless (marvel at their spectacular and highly original second-half routine that brought a standing ovation), who were finalists in the Britain’s Got Talent competition in 2009, are outstanding as the pirate crew of Captain Hook’s ship the Jolly Roger.
And Captain Hook himself is certainly at home on the pantomime stage, played by David Badella who starred in Jerry Springer The Opera and The Rocky Horror Show.
You know the story so I won’t detain you. As we expect, the pantomime gives way to a showcase of the considerable talent on stage and this was a glorious reminder of long-ago childhood trips to (admittedly far less lavish) productions that were a highlight of the Christmas season.
Peter Pan is a great show, full of music, dance and comedy. But it is Bradley Walsh who steals the show from his entry to the stage via the front row of the audience. Be warned: if you have front-row seats you may well feature in the show more than you had planned…
Watch out for, in particular, a hilarious version of Somethin’ Stupid, the song made famous by Frank and Nancy Sinatra and covered more recently by Robbie Williams and actress Nicole Kidman. Enjoy too the comic rendition of The 12 Days of Christmas that features everything from toilet rolls and MK Dons shirts to socks, pots and pans.
Also, marvel at the slick and sophisticated production. The timing of the set changes was, like the dance troupe, flawless but again it’s what we have come to expect at Milton Keynes Theatre.
Peter Pan runs until January 11, which must seem light years away to Bradley Walsh and co. Where does he get all that energy from? I’ll have a glass of whatever he’s taking…
The night we were in the audience, Walsh paid tribute to his fellow cast members, the theatre and the audiences of Milton Keynes. “It’s great to be back,” he said.
And he means it. You can tell by his energy, enthusiasm and fun. Enjoy.