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LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: Robinson Crusoe, The Mayflower
THE Brian Conley Show is back.
Dangerous Brian, “it’s a puppet” and Hank Marvin all make an appearance as the born showman makes this year’s panto his own.
Hyperactive, constantly entertaining, a powerhouse of a personality and full of fun, he is barely off stage. Not that his entourage aren’t also rather fabulous.
Robinson Crusoe is an absolute corker from the moment the pirates set sail from Ye Olde Southampton Docks in a spectacular wooden galleon in search of hidden treasure.
Conley’s Crusoe is given a map by his man-eating mother (Andrew Ryan, brilliant and dressed to kill in dozens of garish ensembles) and sets off to defeat pirate chief Blackheart (the dastardly Gavin Woods) while winning the heart of his sweetheart Polly (Kathryn Rooney, who somehow manages to keep a straight face and has a winning voice.) He is ably assited by scantily clad Lesley Joseph, who flits from maneating Dorian (Birds of a Feather) and back to Fairy Godmother with ease and enjoys a wonderful rapport with Conley.
No expense was spared on this swashbuckling tale which sees a gigantic, terrifying sea monster rear out over the audience. There’s also a flying sports car, cossack dancers and fireeating.
No one’s entirely sure why on a desert island, but this is pantomime so anything goes.
Conley’s finale scene with four young children from the audience performing The Music Man was a delight and the audience really took this incredible physical comedian, who is hysterical falling into the pit and locked up in a cage by a gorilla, to their hearts.
Modern songs – think Gangnam Style – slick dancing and a superb set bring the family tradition of panto sailing into the 21st century and I urge you to climb aboard.
With Conley and co at the rudder, it’s a real treasure.
Robinson Crusoe runs until January 12. Click here for tickets>>
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