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Goldilocks and the Three Bears | St. Helens Theatre Royal

Goldilocks and the Three Bears at St. Helens Theatre Royal is a guaranteed good time for audiences of all ages this Easter. The venue has built a name for itself as the home of quality, entertaining pantomimes, and this latest production is no exception. Directed and produced by Chantelle Nolan, it combines spectacular circus acts with everything that audiences adore about pantomime, following Goldilocks as she tries to save her family circus, finding love and friendship along the way. A pantomime at Easter? Oh yes it is, indeed!

As well as its more unconventional timing, the show adds unique flair to a well-loved story by bringing in an array of circus performances. Sprinkled throughout the story were aerial acts, acrobatics, fire dancing, and even an adorable number from three performing dogs. The musical numbers are a highlight, with exciting choreography by Nazene Langfield and a range of popular hit songs which people can’t resist joining in with. Goldilocks (Katy McKenna) and The Ringmaster (Benjamin Keith) take the lead vocally, both delivering strong performances in addition to the heartwarming love story between the two. The plot divides audiences on who they wish to see Goldilocks end up with- the confident, charismatic Ringmaster or funny, down-to-earth Billy?

Lewis Devine undoubtably steals the show as Silly Billy, with his infectious energy and lots of audience interaction (those on the front row, beware). His innuendos will have parents cracking up with laughter whilst secretly hoping their kids missed the joke. Conor Barrie compliments Devine perfectly as comedic villain Baron Von Vippemall. It’s difficult to tell whether the pair are sticking to the script or ad-libbing at times, which makes their scenes together even funnier. Local references are used well to engage the audience and make them laugh. For titular characters, the three bears are not as prominent as you would expect, but this doesn’t detract from the storyline and, if anything, makes their appearances more appreciated. Localisms and a wholesome family dynamic make the trio stand out and, don’t worry, Goldilocks still pays their home a visit!

The costumes (Regal Entertainments Ltd) are vibrant, glittery, and, at times, simply breathtaking. Dame Gertie (Richard Aucott) impressively hits double figures in her number of costume changes, each one grand and marvellous, including a big top dress and an enormous fruit headpiece. The dancers also model a variety of different glamorous and shiny outfits. These work in harmony with the colourful sets and staging, which create the panto world effectively and are used to transition between scenes well. Pyrotechnics are cleverly used for emphasis and amazement, and the sound effects add a layer of well-timed comedy.

As far as regional pantomimes go, it doesn’t get much better than this. Eye-catching costumes, talented performers, and a hilarious script together make for a highly enjoyable trip to the theatre. If you’re looking for a way to entertain the kids or keep the magic of panto alive way past Christmas, catch Goldilocks and the Three Bears at St. Helens Theatre Royal until 14 April 2024. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by David Munn


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