The Guardian 5 December 2022

It is tempting to grumble about the supposed spontaneity of this ebullient mainstage panto. Kathryn Rooney’s production is so finely tuned that everything – from the foreign visitors in the box to the late arrivals in the stalls and the onstage collision with a swinging door – is planned and executed with breathless precision.

In one sense this is a shame. If improvisation is genuinely called for, as it is when actor Johnny Mac invites four children on to the stage to sing a variant of Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep, he is brilliant at it. Unfazed by the unpredictability, he makes his seven-year-old recruits laugh and the audience laugh harder – not necessarily at the same joke. He makes himself seem all the more lovable. [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).