Mammy Goose

Tron, Glasgow

Mary Brennan

four stars

Where in the pantosphere is the ‘go’ in Goose turbo-charged with razzle-dazzle flair and fun-tastic details? (And that’s just Kenny Miller’s costumes, folks.) The dazzle-razzle cranks up even more in Johnny McKnight’s panto script, making the Tron’s Mammy Goose a mega-quacker of a show.

On-stage you get not one smart-talking bird, but two: yer larger than life Dame (a pneumatically fat-suited McKnight, who also directs) and a cute Lucy Goose (Julie Wilson Nimmo) who’s happy to shoot her mouth – bill? - off. You also get not one likely lad, but two: Jack Goose (Darren Brownlie, given to fancy dancing and superb naivete) and Will Visage (Ryan Ferrie, rocking some slinky New Romantic dash). You also get a properly vindictive baddie in the scheming Vanity Visage who fuels her magic powers by preying on other people’s unhappiness. Lauren Ellis-Steele pitches Vanity’s sneering elegance and demonic laugh just right, tinged with menace but ridiculous with it. Poor Will, she’s his overly-possessive mother.

The time-honoured tale of Mother Goose and her misguided choice of youth and beauty over her golden-egg laying goose does wing it into play, but the plot is more of a support act to the comedy cantrips, the snappy song’n’dance stuff and the quick-witted repartee that speeds from one slick pun to another saucily knowing punchline.

It’s McKnight in top form. His Kardashian-plus bahookey might occupy a lot of stretch lame, but his Mammy Goose doesn’t hog the action, or the hilarity. Brownlie’s Jack and Ferrie’s Will have a sub-plot of their own, where camp prancing and daftness take a heart-squeezing swerve into something tender and sweet – the McKnight panto anthem, All I Want For Christmas is You has never sounded more achingly wistful. As Vanity Visage is wont to say, ‘there’s a price to pay...’ – your ticket for this exuberant Mammy Goose is, however, well worth it.