6th December 2011
An annual highlight in the Wolsey's superb programme is the always excellent pantomime and this year's is certainly no disappointment, equally matching 2010's ‘Jack and the Beanstalk'. Repeating their successful formula of interweaving great rock and pop songs into the usual high spirited proceedings you are left with no other option but to have a hugely enjoyable evening.
4th December 2011
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a pantomime, and what better way to start this year's festivities than a visit to the New Wolsey's Rock ‘n' Roll panto. This season's offering, Robin Hood and The Babes in the Wood, started off with a bang and is guaranteed to bring cheer to your yuletide celebrations.
Michael Gray - 30th November 2011
Enjoying a warming home-made parsnip soup from the Café Bar, I watch the crowd arrive. For all their paper hats, their popcorn and their massive bags of sweeties, they're a discerning crowd. They expect to laugh and boo, of course; they'll want a dame and a baddie, but this X-factor generation will also demand production values as high as any concert or West End musical.
The Wolsey has found the perfect recipe to keep them happy in its ‘Rock n Roll' pantos, of which this is, unbelievably, the eleventh incarnation. All the ingredients are carefully selected: a super-talented team of actor musicians, a score of toe-tapping numbers - more or less tailored to the plot, and audience involvement which means getting wet, picked on, or both - Brian in A3 an excellent stooge when I saw the show.
Rachel Sloane - 30th November 2011
This years Rock'n'Roll panto is well underway at the New Wolsey Theatre, ("oh no it isn't... oh yes it is!").......
The team on Civic Drive have been very clever, carving a niche (albeit a rather large one!) for a pantomime audience who don't want the sugary, romantic style of traditional pantomime but something more sassy, that appeals to older children, teenagers and adults.
Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood is colourful, loud, brash, with ghastly jokes, some rather sexy humour, brilliant rock and pop music ......and is Great Fun!
For two months this disgustingly talented cast will act, sword-fight, dance, sing and play all the instruments, slickly passing microphones and props, as they give pantomime a modern gloss.
Carol Twinch - 30th November 2011
In a terrific burst of stage energy the rock ‘n' roll panto began as it meant to go on. No one seemed to draw breath after the first guitar chords were struck and we got off to a rip roaring package of pure entertainment, just ten actor-musicians giving us non-stop song, dance, comedic acting and a ream of truly corny jokes.
In so far as the story matters, King Richard leaves the country to the mercy of Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham (Anthony Hunt) cancels all public celebrations so that his ward, Maid Marion (Shirley Darroch) is thwarted in her coming of age and marrying Robin Hood (Alex Tomkins).
Glen Pearce - 30th November 2011
Guitars, saxophones and drum kits aren't normally the first thing that spring to mind when you think of pantomime but, for Ipswich audiences, the New Wolsey's Rock ‘n' Roll panto has become something of a tradition over the last 10 years. Over that past decade the format has occasionally seemed to run out of steam, with the need to shoehorn a plethora of rock and roll classics into the script becoming somewhat formulaic. However, this year's offering of Robin Hood and The Babes In The Wood is a welcome return to form for the format, integrating the music into the production rather than the afterthought it has sometimes seemed in the past. The jokes may be as corny as ever, the plot as convoluted as you would expect and the characters as absurd as they can be but its all delivered with wit and fun that excuses the sheer absurdity of it all.
Anne Morley-Priestman - 30th November 2011
So you thought that the Babes in the Wood were helpless innocent infants, did you? Wrong, at any rate as far as Peter Rowe's take on their story is concerned. Britney (Sioned Saunders) and Whitney (Sophie Bryne) are a brace of extremely clued-up young women, adept with the brass (musical as well as financial) who have dropped into Nottingham from somewhere in Essex, possibly even from the Chigwell area.
It's a rock'n'roll pantomime with a total very hard-working and talented cast of ten. Alex Tomkins is the titular hero with Shirley Darroch as a Marion who runs rings around his masculine ability to get things oh-just-so-slightly wrong. Sporting a wig and makeup which reflects those of Olivier in Richard III, Anthony Hunt is the nastiest Sheriff anywhere north of the Thames, and he has a sidekick in the shape of Tim Jackson's Numbskull (aka Norbert Nobrain] who measures up to him, pudding-basin haircut and all.