Technical Crew Details:
Reviewed by Donald Madgwick for ‘The Croydon Advertiser’.
“Oh, for Tut’s sake!” exclaims the villain when things aren’t going his way in this offbeat original pantomime. He’s an Egyptian, you understand, called Ardet Bey, and he’s trying to rule the universe through the agency of a 3,000 year old Mummy called Imhotep, who is supposedly Evil Incarnate but in fact is as camp as a Boy Scout’s jamboree.
The script is written and directed by Mark Taylor, who is also found at the keyboards of a four-piece ensemble.
Its characters tend to be endowed with earthy names like Sir Ponsonby Bottywipe, and Colostomy Jane, but let’s not go into that.
Richard Lloyd is well cast as Ardet Bey, giving a performance of lip-smacking relish, the Compleat Villain, embellishing his expansive, conscienceless wrong-doing with a vein of treacherous orientalism.
His sidekicks, filling the generic slot of brokers’ men, are given a certain idiotic panache by Steve North and Chris Strachan, respectively Muk-Itup and Kok-Itup, with Tina Poole bringing some glamour to the gang as I. Rippemov.
But it’s Brits to the rescue. Luke Argles is the Dame, Mrs Beryl Pie’nmash, who sails through the show with huge good humour, employing a sort of yapping falsetto reminiscent of the Monty Python women. Chris Argles and Tanya Allison are the well-named Professor Pottering and his museum assistant Rose Garden.
Other English stalwarts include Tim Young as a self-satisfied Sir Ponsonby, Neil Grew, barking orders in Empire-building style as Col. Willoughby-Balls; and a sprightly Kimberley Argles as his batman Private Droppem. She, though, hardly the most important character on view, is the shows nearest approach to a Principal Boy, falling in love with the graceful museum assistant.
Nicky Greene, as Colostomy Jane, seems to have wandered in from the Wild West to the Middle East, while Penny Payne and Julie Wilson are quintessentially English as a pair of elderly tourists. But the real scene stealer is Chris Blakeney, a Mummy of spirit and wit, with the distilled resignation of three millennia spent in a sarcophagus.