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What the papers sayQ
Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle - The Gazette
Magic, mayhem and laughter:: all the right ingredients which come together for an amazing show
From the moment the curtain rose and the stage filled with a giant flying butterfly giving a ride to pantomime dame fairy it was clear this was going to be a night to remember. The panto at Newcastle Theatre Royal is always a magical one with amazing special effects shown at their best by a talented cast. And it was quickly clear this year’s production of Cinderella would be no exception. If anything it was better than ever with more magic, mayhem and slapstick packed into the polished performance than every before. The story stuck closely to the traditionally fairytale with Cinderella living in poverty with her cruel stepsisters and destined to wed a royal prince. But with father and son duo Clive Webb (Baron Hardup) and Danny Adams (Buttons) involved the path was never certain to run smoothly. Cinderella played by Laura Evans Cinderella played by Laura Evans The pair appeared in a joke car, followed it with a collapsing piano before going on to a very messy slapstick routine. But it was Danny Adams magic show which had us spellbound and then when he drove Cinders (Laura Evans) to the ball in one of the most realistic flying coaches we’d ever seen we were left almost speechless. His brother, Michael Potts, teamed up with the gang as he once again played the village idiot is some of their funniest scenes. One of the big surprises for us was the panto dame for the 10th year Chris Hayward playing the fairy godmother. Gone were the joke filled outfits which were replaced with some of the most beautiful costumes of the show - showing off one of the best pairs of legs in showbiz! Prince Charming played by Will Richardson Prince Charming played by Will Richardson And it was left to the fairy to take the audience on the annual terrifying 3D journey which saw the theatre filled with screams and shouts as snakes, monsters and spiders appeared within inches of your face. With the dame side-stepping the hideous outfits it fell to the ugly step-sisters Verruca (Steve Arnott) and Hernia (Peter Peverley) to take them on which they did with style in their cruel treatment of Cinders. My son Ben, six, had initially said he didn’t want to go to the show as: “Cinderella is for girls”. But within minutes he was happily confiding he might have been a bit hasty and long before the interval he was converted. Sister Eve, 14, never had any such doubts, knowing she would love every minute of the show co-written, produced and directed by local man Michael Harrison. Theatre Royal pantomimes are among the fastest-selling in the UK and regularly break box office records and with a performance like this it is easy to see why.
BY ELAINE BLACKBQ
Jack and the Beanstalk at Newcastle Theatre Royal - The Journal
Next year will see Clive Webb and Danny Adams celebrate their 10th consecutive pantomime at Newcastle Theatre Royal.
The first few years saw them joined by a celebrity co-star on the posters, until the producers realised it was in fact the father-and-son team who were drawing in the record-breaking crowds, year after year.
Of course the high production values - which always include a collection of ‘wow’ moments - are a big pull too (and another reason to help justify the ticket price), but at the end of the day, a flying carpet is no use unless you have somebody at the controls who is worth watching. Of course there is no flying carpet involved in the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, which is the tale being told this year, although there is something airborne to look out for, but I can say no more about that.
mind, I can also say no more about the 3D section of the show, which invites the audience to slap on their glasses and take a walk through the Giant’s Castle... and then take a trip on what I can only assume is some sort of wormhole masquerading as a beanstalk chute.
My six-year-old son can certainly say no more about that bit, given that he spent 99% of the sequence holding his glasses and burying his head into my neck. Fred and a succession of 3D baddies and nasties apparently do not mix. Maybe a blindfold will be in order next time. He was in the minority though. The giant’s share of the crowd were screaming in excitable waves befitting a roller coaster. Again though, this element - impressive though it was - would be nothing if it didn’t come as part of a much bigger package which surely starts rubbing in the panto polish for the following year’s offering while the current crop of confetti is still being swept up.
Once again written and directed by Wallsend-bred Michael Harrison - “the man who brought us here and made all this happen”, says Danny - the tale of the young boy who sells his cow for a bag of beans and scales the resulting beanstalk to secure fame and fortune and the end of the giant, has been punctuated for pantomime purposes by a selection of Clive and Danny’s greatest comedy hits. Sporting set pieces a plenty, the pair had the crowd had the crowd at Danny’s first ‘Aaaaaayyyyyyy’ and the return of the 12 Days of Christmas - this time with a Geordie marinade - and all its choreographed chaos had people on their feet.
There was also audience surveillance tomfoolery, which went down like a lead-coated bag of hammers with one picked-on crowd member (to the delight of the rest of us, obviously); cream cake making (complete with a stage-protecting ground sheet of course); and an air horn performance, featuring the lovely Daisy, five, from the stalls, who perfectly played Danny at his own ‘Acciddduuurrrrnt’ game. Throughout all of this, the supporting cast, including panto regulars Chris Hayward as the ever-resplendent Dame Rita Trot; the dastardly Steve Arnott as the booworthy Fleshcreep; Danny’s brother Mick Potts as the resident idiot; and whoever combined their efforts to bring Moo Moo the Coo Coo to life, put in great turns too. As they all took their bows following the happily ever after bit, it struck me that Danny, Clive and the rest of the Theatre Royal’s resident pantomime family are like the story’s bag of magic beans. Every year they come together and grow something magical and massively entertaining.
Cirque du Hilarious Yarmouth Hippodrome March 2013The weather might be wintry outside but the Yarmouth Hippodrome Circus audience is sure to warm to father and son comic duo Clive Webb and Danny Adams. For the 10th year running, they have brought their Cirque du Hilarious show to Yarmouth over Easter. Danny’s infectious laugh and lightning humour established him as a favourite with the Hippodrome audiences during successive summer circuses and the latest easter show, Daredevils And Clowns, gives even his most ardent fans a sufficient, side-splitting fix. There are plenty of new sketches as Danny and Clive fuse magic, slapstick humour and audience participation into a rumbustious mix. In a fast-moving presentation that has become the norm for the hippodrome, the comedy is laced with a daring balancing act in the first half and a slick juggling routine after the interval. Skillfully choreographed dance routines bring the show together. A suitably rip-roaring finale is provided by the comic band clown force which has become a favourite with easter audiences. The show runs until Thursday and families wanting to put a smile on their faces over the holiday are thoroughly recommended to book.
Robin Hood, Theatre Royal, Newcastle
The story follows the Robin Hood legend with Danny playing the man in tights and his dad Clive, in the role of Friar Tuck. From the moment Danny arrives on stage stretching his green spandex tights in all the wrong places to the excruciating part when he drags one of the poor dads from the audience to completely humiliate him, you cannot stop laughing.
Norwich Evening NewsSurely the best partnership in British Circus, father-and-son team Clive Webb and Danny Adams, return to the Hippodrome for their 10th Easter with a typically fast-paced, laugh-a-minute show. The duo, who have announced they will also be returning to Great Yarmouth for their fifth summer season later in the year, are quite simply brilliant. If you think you don’t like clowns (and I am generally amongst your number) don’t be put off in the slightest: this is slapstick with a really deft touch that genuinely had our whole family in fits of laughter. This year’s show is packed with jokes, stunts and routines which give you a whole new respect for circus families who produce these high-octane shows twice a day, every day throughout an entire season. Joined by Clive’s other sons Johnny Marx and Michael Potts, the natural chemistry between the four is superb and aided by the fact you can tell they all enjoy trying to make each other laugh in addition to making their audience laugh. While Johnny leads the all-clown rock band Clownforce (I particularly identified with the scene where he smashed a child’s guitar to smithereens. How I have wanted to do the same thing myself on several occasions), Michael is another straight man for Danny. He’s great: and he looks fantastic in a dress. There’s messy slapstick humour that will see the first few rows in the audience get a soaking, a chance for the audience to volunteer to take to the stage and plenty of opportunities to sing along. Additionally, there are some nice dance routines from the Circus Hilarious Dancers and some fabulous gymnastics from a talented trio who use each other’s bodies as springboards and ladders to create some incredible acrobatic feats.
Manchester Evening NewsTheir antics scale new heights of incredible controlled lunacy.
The Shropshire StarBoth children and adults screamed with laughter.