‘Ey up me ducks!
When you’re born in Stoke-on-Trent there are three things that you have no option but to love: oatcakes, pottery and the annual Jonny Wilkes pantomime! For the 13th Christmas he is treading the boards of the Regent Theatre, this time as Robin Hood, ably assisted by panto regular Christian Patterson as Friar Tuck and their band of Merry Men and Women!
Christian Patterson may not be from Stoke-on-Trent but every Christmas we adopt him as one of our own, and he and Jonathan Wilkes become the city’s own festive version of Ant and Dec! Their infectious humour, slapstick routines and hysterical cameraderie have lit up the Regent’s stage year after year and it is obvious that they have just as much fun as the audience! They ensure to “keep it local” with lots of references to the area, Jonny shouts “Ey up me ducks” more times than you can count and of course, Beryl the 111 year old always gets a mention!
I’m still unwell so ‘Typical Daddy’ took to the helm again last night, accompanying Bean to the Regent and I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that, having never been to a panto in his life, he was a little apprehensive…especially knowing that he was going to be grilled by me for a review as soon as he walked in the door! But he needn’t have worried…did he love it? “Oh yes he did!!”
Bean described Christian and Jonny as “fabulously hilarious” and, as always, they had the audience in stitches from start to finish with their silly shenanigans. According to ‘Typical Daddy’ the costumes were “spectacular,” the dancing and singing were “amazing” and “they must have spent a small fortune on the set!” But for him, the most impressive part of the whole show was the magical 3D which was so successful in last year’s panto. I remember being wowed by it then and apparently this year it is just as amazing!
As a Drama teacher and examiner myself, I love the fact that Wilkes gives his younger stage-school students the wonderful opportunity to perform on a professional stage as the Juvenile Chorus, and also casts current students and graduates of his Academy of Performing Arts as his Ensemble, giving them much-coveted professional experience as they begin their careers. They always perform to a very high standard – proof of his philosophy that “hard work brings opportunity”- and this year is no exception!
With Bean pronouncing this year’s panto as “the best ever!” and ‘Typical Daddy’ describing it as “A glitzy, fun-filled, hilarious spectacular for the whole family to enjoy” I can safely say it comes highly recommended from us so get your tickets now by popping into the Regent’s Box Office, calling 08448717649 or visiting the website.
Disclosure: We were gifted 2 tickets for the show in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.