What The Papers Say

Teesdale Mercury - Andrew Harrison

Snow White 2021

Snow White 2021

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Newcastle Theatre Royal

FINALLY, pantomimes have arrived and at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal pantoland has burst into life with an explosion of glitter and fun with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the fairest panto in the land.

Danny Adams as The Court Jester and Clive Webb as Oddjob are in their 16th year at The Theatre Royal and still have as much energy as ever, with their return from the enforced break they certainly relish every minute being back on stage. As father and son, they are a fantastic duo with a mix of comedy, magic and superb entertainment. Danny and Clive are joined by X Factor Star, Joe McElderry as The Man in the Mirror. This gives us the start of some twists in the traditional story. The repartee between Danny and Joe, which is mainly aimed at Joe, is thoroughly enjoyed by the audience and shows what a great sport he is as well as an amazing singer. The Carole Stennett as Spirit of Pantomime is a delight. Mick Potts as The Idiot, I always want more of him, he plays the character brilliantly.

It always feels that no expense has been spared here and this year it even managed it to up a gear, including with Danny ending the first act travelling back, from taking Snow White into the Forbidden Forest, driving a double decker bus which lifts out into the auditorium. Followed by Queen Dragonella as she flies off with her dragon to cause more problems for Snow White.

Two Dames give us double the treats with Chris Wayward, this year, becoming the evil counterpart, as Queen Dragonella and Steve Arnott as Mrs Nelly Nightnurse. Having two of the top Dames in the country is such a delight.


Wayne Smith as Prince William of Wallsend who falls in love with Snow White as Kirsty Ingram and the Magnificent Seven as Josh Bennett, Simeon Dyer, Scott English, Jamie John, Blake Lisle, Andrew Martin and Fergus Rattigan who can’t be forgotten about, they may not be the main part of the show but they perfectly enhance the evening.

This may not only be the best panto in the North East, but is probably the best in the country. Plenty for adults and children alike. If you only have time to see one show this Christmas, this has to be it.

Runs until Sunday 9th January 2022

The Gazette - Elaine Black

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.

Cinderella 2016

Cinderella 2016

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.


North West End - Lorna Weekes

Cirque Du Hilarious – Theatre Royal, St Helens

Hoping our seats were somewhere near the back where two adults without kids might be less conspicuous to see this show which is surely for youngsters?

We were pleasantly surprised to see that we were not out of place at all. (and our seats were in the front stalls!) I believe that for every child there were at least two adults with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends being willing to ‘tag’ along to the show. And what a show!!!

We were treated to 2 hours of good old fashioned slapstick comedy from father and sons team Clive Webb, Danny Adams and Mick Potts as the bumbling village idiot, a trio of glamorous dancers, the Cirque Du Hilarious Showgirls, the Rock band Clownforce with singer Wayne and a tumbling artiste who all added to the mayhem on stage.

Most of the show focuses on Danny Adams who is super charged with his energy exploding onto the stage, he is zany, slightly naughty with the innuendos to keep the adults happy, but judging by the laughter from the children not much is missed by them! Kids (of all ages) love toilet humour and the ‘smart fella’ sketch had them in stitches when he became… well I’m sure you can imagine!

Everything is all good fun and the pace never drops. It’s all the comedy you see in a circus but without the scary clown makeup (so many seem to have a dislike of clowns today so there is nothing to fear in this show.) His father Clive Webb has little success in keeping Danny in check but hidden within the mayhem is real magic amongst the cream pies and water cannons! Yes, we got wet!

Audience participation is part of the show and there are some hilarious moments with props going wrong…intentional or not, who cares?, it just added to the laughter.

Its unsurprising to read that Clive Webb had a career spanning seven years with Roberts Circus but what is surprising he was a drummer with them before he became the head clown and tonight we are treated to some of his great drumming skills. Both he and Adams have had successful television appearances including Crackerjack, The Sooty Show, Mole in the Hole and The Tweenies amongst many others.

The show is aptly titled ‘Cirque Du Hilarious’ and as its exactly what you get, it’s easy to see why they were awarded the Ken Dodd Comedy Award and the CFA Best Comedy Act. There are so many laugh a minute moments and that much crammed into the show, I wouldn’t want to highlight one particular spot above another. Suffice to say your sides will ache from all the laughing.

Cirque Du Hilarious is family entertainment at its silliest, it’s fast paced, it’s pure enjoyment for all ages and it’s something you should get along to if you love a good old fashioned show, with light hearted comedy guaranteed to raise a smile and at the same time bring tears to your eyes with laughter.


Copyright Cirque du Hilarious