Rapunzel’s report says it all: we’re all panto lovers at heart

This year’s pantomime production from Copenhagen Theater Circle was a particularly ambitious rendition of the classic story ‘Rapunzel’.

Fun for everyone
It is worth noting that this review is written by an American who, until opening night on January 31st, had yet to experience the pleasure of experiencing this British tradition. And although, as the play suggests in the intro, no American could understand a pantomime except by accident, I want to assure the reader that I had a great time, and I am very accident-prone myself.

For readers out there with American roots and anyone else, whatever their experience of pantomime may be, I want to assure you that there is something in this show for everyone. Based on a survey of the audience that involved raising hands and raising voices, there was an almost 50/50 split between those who had seen a pantomime before and those who had not. By the end of the show, however, everyone was as involved as their neighbor, laughing, shouting, hissing and even dancing.

Cast standouts
The cast was as varied as the audience the show was intended for, but everyone brought equal joy and enthusiasm to their part, young and old. The actors’ enthusiasm was contagious and the audience couldn’t help but get involved.

Two clear standout performances in the show were the parts of Brunnhilde Blunderberg and her son Max, played by Rudy Hiding and Chris Thorup respectively. Cast as Rapunzel’s nanny and protector, Rudy Hiding brought a confidence, humor and energy to the role that could not be matched by anyone else on the night. Chris Thorup may have been a close second.

A stellar performance quickly replaced some early opening night jitters as the night progressed. I am of course talking about Emily Foate in the Rapunzel part. Like her character, Emily seemed to find confidence and footing throughout the play. Particularly impressive was the chemistry between Foate and co-star Julian Grosiengfiao in the role of Rudi O’Malley, engaging and animating throughout their time on stage.

A little bickering
Perhaps my biggest criticism of the show is that there couldn’t be more for Gretta Attard, who was the Queen of Evergreen, to do or sing. In her limited options, her voice amazed and was a highlight of the night. There were whispers all around me in the audience in awe of her voice.

Also worth mentioning for her wickedly funny performance was Diana Moisa as Waylon the Gothel’s evil attack beast.

Some tremors
Including the intermission, the show’s running time came in at nearly three hours. There was no shortage of fun, but a slightly shorter show might have been just as enjoyable. The running time was not helped by technical hiccups and particularly long set changes. The cast rolled with the punches expertly, making the most of some of the technical and acting mistakes to improve the show in some cases.

A lot of these missteps could probably be chalked up to first-night jitters, and I can only imagine that every day this show runs, it’s going to get impossibly better.

Missed opportunity
The show is accurately billed as a British panto, as most of its jokes and references are Anglo-centric. For many in the audience this was very entertaining, but for a play in Denmark it seems that some more Copenhagen-specific humor would have been great.

All in all though, it was a great night at the panto and any parents looking for something fun to do with their kids tonight or until February 5th should look no further than Copenhagen Theater Circle’s UK panto production of ‘Rapunzel ‘.

Source: The Nordic Page




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