- Lorna Irvine
- 5 December 2014
Colourful panto big on good cheer but short on excitement
They're a rum lot. The Pavilion Panto favourites are back with their latest show, a lively adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island. Nailing their deliberately un-PC colours to the mast, it is a technicolour treat for the wee ones, but a little incoherent in terms of its narrative arc.
Peck the Parrot (Johnny Mac) and Ugly Sister Cat Harvey are endearing presences, particularly Mac's freestyling motormouth segment, which showcases his considerable stand-up chutzpah. Gary Lamont's blowsy, over-sexed dame Mrs Birdseye, innkeeper in 'mah Primark bloomers' provides many ripe chuckles. However, there is more of an emphasis on big pop singalongs than sea shanties, and a lack of strong characterisation dominates the latter scenes.
Counterbalancing the leads, James MacKenzie's Long John Silver and Leah MacRae as Black Dog are too charming to be villainous baddies, in spite of the shared bluster. Surprisingly low on spooky pirate action overall, a little more anarchy would have been a thrilling addition. This island escape is fine for a short stay, even if, on the whole, it feels more like a jukebox musical than the traditional family panto format they usually do so well.
Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, until Sun 18 Jan