Reviewed by Donald Madgwick for The Croydon Advertiser
Vikings arrive to loot the laughter
Theatre Workshop Coulsdon’s pantomime, which can be seen over the next three days at the Youth and Social Centre, Chipstead Valley Road, is nothing if not original.
Written and directed (or rather “scribbled and bossed about”) by Richard Lloyd, Smut’s Saga or Santa and the Vikings” is a glorious Dark Ages mishmash in which Santa Claus somehow finds a place, along with a genial Dame Dustpan, to give us a link with pantos of the more usual sort.
The mixture proved much to the audience’s liking, at least on the opening night.
Smut the Smug, in the person of Paul M Ford, is an eminently hissable villain, arriving on our shores in a Viking longboat which is a credit to the backstage crew. His uncouth hooligan manners suggest that things have not changed much over the past thousand years, and there is some amusing minor wickedness from the Vikings Eric Big Axe and Thor Smallsword, played respectively by Mike Brown and Nathan Moughtin.
It is also a pleasure to cheer Tatiana Allison on as the good Biking Prince, in company with the cheery Tim Young as the not-so-dwarfish Filofax the Dwarf.
A bouquet also to Glen Keary and Jonathon Wales for their balancing act as the immensely tall Big Rollo the Giant.
As for Dame Dustpan, Chris Argles invests her with all the cheeky resilience of the species. Her three wards are nimbly played by Steven Kennick, Rachel Handler and Wendy New.
Robert Del Toro puts in some jolly ho-ho-ho-ing as Santa, but Bruce Montgomery, notwithstanding his powerful delivery, is fighting a losing battle as the boring (and well-named) sagamaker Snorri Snorrison.
The Bjorn Three Ensemble provide good musical backing for this good-hearted panto.
Paul M Ford
Robert Del Toro
Technical Crew Details: