Reviewed by Judith Smallshaw for The Croydon Advertiser
Aliens snatch Santa!
Father Christmas was Santa-napped from Coulsdon last week and taken to the planet Varbos. But don’t worry kids – it was only pantomime.
Chris Argles directed the Theatre Workshop Coulsdon in “Santa in Space” with gusto and at great speed.
Vileun the Vile was helped in his Santa-snatch by Null and Void (two gormless galactic goons, well done by Andy Guilbert and Simeon Dawes).
Richard Lloyd had the entire audience hissing and booing at his villanous Vileun – a really nasty piece of work.
Lee Wilkinson made a standard nuisance of himself as Tommy Tucker: Helen Charman was the robotic robot, Roberta, and Christine Blake proved herself a stage natural as the astrologer Astra.
But the whole improbable thing was lifted off the boards with Dame Dangel, Tim Young as one of the best dames I’ve seen for ages: voluminous handbag and pantaloons, malapropisms and mixed metaphors – the lot…
This was good old fashioned panto at its best. There were no smutty jokes, no modern pop.
The dame was not just an actor in drag. There was no doubt, even in the youngest kid’s mind, that Mr Young was anything but male (the beard helped).
There was a lot of innuendo (but not of the unpleasant variety); there was ear-splitting audience participation and some nifty effects (Zarathustra music, red “smoke” and sensational lightning).
The only thing that was missing was the pantomime horse.
Very loud, very fast moving and very good, this production should have been given a much longer run.
Santa will be going into Space again tonight (Friday) at 8pm and Saturday at 3pm and 8pm. Don’t miss it.
Paul M Ford
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