Sleeping Beauty: theatre review

York Theatre Royal’s pantomime dame retired last year after 40 years of extraordinary success. Given what Berwick Kayler’s panto must have brought to the theatre’s coffers, I’d imagined this loss sparking a panicky but exciting meeting, with acres of sugar paper dedicated to mapping out the fresh start. How to sell loyal fans a new dame? Continue reading

Cinderella the Physicist: theatre preview

“They’re my new friends, Buttons! My Ugly – on the inside – Step – not that that’s relevant – sister said I couldn’t go to the Royal Twins’ party and they used physics to help me. We should lure sister into the wardrobe with sweets? That’s mean! Let’s do it though.” Continue reading

The Grand Old Dame of York: A custard bye forty years in the baking

Well, here we all are again back for the annual rubbish at the York Theatre Royal pantomime, but with one big difference – 2018 is dame Berwick Kaler’s final year after forty years of writing, co-directing and starring in York’s most popular panto. There has always been something homely and comforting about hearing those Geordie tones cry out, “Me babbies me bairnes!” once a year – and this year the moment is delayed by a slightly over-long opening where the rest of the cast ponder what panto they will be doing and whether the script has even been written yet. Continue reading