Goldilocks and the Three Bears (King's Theatre, Edinburgh)
The Pitch Gertie’s (Allan Strewart) circus is in a soapy bubble, unable to draw audiences or pay its rent. Never mind, though, for daughter Goldilocks (Claire Dargo) adopts three bears who prove to be a hit. But Goldilocks has troubles of the heart with Julian (James MacKenzie), the flaky landowner’s son. Will her bear honey pot be presented to him, or dopey Tweedy the clown? Meanwhile evil Mr and Mrs Heinkel (Grant Stott, Jo Freer) evolve a plot to abduct the grizzly star turns – the bearfaced cheek!
The Verdict In incorporating such circus acts as the acrobatic Ganbats, Tweedy the clown and trapeze artist Stephanie King there’s certainly no shortage of spectacle to accompany the sumptuous costumes and showstopping numbers here, but one wonders whether there’s a lack of warm, beating heart at the centre of this year’s King’s panto. Some of the clowning, too, gets repetitive, and former stalwart Andy Gray’s sure comic touch seems to be missed. All the same, there are some strong turns here, with Stewart’s Dame in scintillating form, and Freer’s Munster like mittel European villainess an admirable foil to Stott’s wicked Baron. Not one of the King’s classics, but still worth a watch. (Steve Cramer)
King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sun 20 Jan