Adventures In Pantoland at the Johannesburg Theatre

Reviewed by Barry Viljoen

Photo credit: enroC photo & video.


Can you believe that it’s already that time of the year again? As we near the end of the year, the Johannesburg Theatre marks the closing of the year with its annual pantomime production. What makes it a little different this year is that it also marks the finale of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the theater itself. Furthermore, it is not a single pantomime production, but rather five.

The “golden thread,” if you will, is the quest for the Golden Goblet of Goodness, which will have audiences traveling between Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Peter Pan. Some critics have likened this to a feast of theater. I wondered how these transitions would work, but I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly they took place.

Every year I ask myself, “Will they top the previous year’s production?” Yet they have never failed to deliver. As has come to be expected year in and year out, the cast is phenomenal. The sets and costumes were of an incredible standard. along with the choreography and singing. Though they have added a new dimension to this in this production, one that I have personally not seen in the theater before. If not for any of the aforementioned reasons, this should and could be sufficient reason to proceed.See for yourself what I am alluding to.

Pantomimes are often less serious than other productions, and this is no exception. Just what we need in these “dark times,” as I’m about to enter another round of load-shedding.It’s fun for the whole family with sing-along songs from the first to the last. The humor is both witty and mature, but also inclusive enough for the children to have an equal amount of belly rumbles. As you are transported from story to story in the continual battle between good and evil,

Once again, Bernard Jay and Janice Honeyman have delivered us something special. I can’t even begin to think how they will raise the level next year. Some have called this the Panto of Pantos, and perhaps they are right. However, I recommend that you come and see for yourself to fully grasp what all the fuss is about.

The show will be running until the 24th of December. I suggest you get your tickets soon before risking the disappointment of missing out on this wonderful production.

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