- Lorna Irvine
- 4 December 2019
Ecological shenanigans in Barrie Hunter's latest panto
With the activism of Extinction Rebellion hitting the headlines every other day this year, it was perhaps inevitable that climate change issues would seep into theatre, even something as ephemeral, daft and family friendly as pantomime.
Writer and director Barrie Hunter's Sinbad has the usual double entendres – particularly as there's a plot involving Perthshire beavers – but his dame Jackie Alltrades lives on a houseboat that's ecologically sound, and her family are up against capitalist villain Vindicta (a game, glam Helen Logan, going full Shirley Bassey on her cover of Billie Ellish's 'Bad Guy') who plans to burn down the woods in order to create luxury shopping malls.
Sinbad (Rehanna MacDonald) is a little underwritten, but MacDonald has a beautiful singing voice and likeability. It falls to Rebekah Lumsden's Greta, a Greta Thunberg type, to provide the pluck, intelligence and appetite for adventure, and Ewan Somers has a sweet supporting role as nerdy, lost Finn Lad.
It may take a wee while to ignite, but there's enough Looney Tunes capers to satisfy, some brilliantly incongruous jokes (references to Simone De Beauvoir and Marie Kondo work, even if they're sandwiched in alongside fart gags) and Becky Minto's beautiful costumes and set are a welcome reminder on the need to re-examine our attitudes to greed and sustainability at this most decadent time of the year.
Perth Theatre, until Sat 4 Jan.