Mother Goose Fae Easterhoose

Platform, The Bridge, Glasgow

three stars

A Lad In Maryhill

Maryhill Community Central Halls, Glasgow

three stars

Panto daftness meets dramatic tensions in Mother Goose Fae Easterhoose, Lewis Hetherington’s new monitory-monetary fairytale for our times.

Evil is abroad and Nicole Cooper’s glam Annunziata is a very nasty, wheedling broad indeed. She’s determined to persuade a Good Angel (Michelle Chantelle Hopewell) that no-one is above the lure of untold (unearned, tax-free) wealth.

Our wonderfully upbeat Angel cites Mother Goose as a kindly, poor but honest, woman who will prove cynical Annunziata wrong. Mibbes aye, mibbes naw... because Mother Goose (Judith Williams) and eco-conscious daughter Greta (Amy Kennedy) are barely managing by selling milk-shakes from their ramshackle caravan.

A swift change of costume sees Hopewell reappear as Bruce the Goose who – suspend your disbelief! – lays golden eggs. Does Mother Goose pay her overdue bills? or does she succumb to designer shopping and celebrity partying with Annunziata?

Williams makes Mother Goose’s predicament feel real, her yearning for luxury and carefree youth sadly believable. Never fear – there is a feel-good ending, with some great musical numbers en route, all sung superbly by director Matt Addicott’s impressive (all-female) cast.

At Maryhill’s Community Central Halls, the West End Festival, Halo Arts and writer/ director Brendon McIlroy have defied technical limitations with a first-ever professional panto: A Lad In Maryhill.

It’s a rough-and-ready production, but a great-hearted one that has a local, and family, feel to it. Cameron Fulton (Aladdin) and Paul Kelvin (Wishee Washee) both come over as likeable live-wire lads who can get the audience onside.

David Parker’s Widow Twankey is in camp pursuit of outre Dame-hood but, like other cast members Kirsty May Hamilton, Kayleigh Andrews and Euan Cuthbertson, he goes all out to entertain.

A clever use of back projections provides scene changes, the musical numbers work well – lots to build on for next year.

Mary Brennan