Brought to you by


Review: Mother Goose at Cheltenham Everyman until January 7

Everyman Theatre Cheltenham production of Mother Goose, Christmas 2023 <i>(Image: Antony Thompson/TWM)</i>
Everyman Theatre Cheltenham production of Mother Goose, Christmas 2023 (Image: Antony Thompson/TWM)

 

If you fancy a deliciously enjoyable Christmas goose, then go and see Tweedy at Cheltenham Everyman! Or roast your bird on 200C/180C fan/gas 6 between 13 and 15 minutes per pound, unstuffed, and 18 to 22 minutes per pound stuffed, says Katie Jarvis helpfully (and who absolutely loved this panto)

I approach my seat-row at the Everyman Cheltenham, and the man on the end kindly stands up to let me past.

No!’ I shout in his ear. ‘I’m behind you!’

‘Oh, sorry,’ he says, sitting back down.

‘Actually,’ I say, much more quietly, ‘I am along your row.’

He stands back up, looking slightly baffled, as I shuffle past him, thinking, ‘Lucky this isn’t a Brian Rix farce. It might have gone even less well if my trousers had fallen down.’

In spite of my presence, there is a palpable air of excitement. I always felt Tweedy should have been made a Dame. (‘For services to ironing,’ I’m thinking?)

And in Mother Goose!

I mean, think of all the cracking egg jokes! Not to mention puns on ‘goose’! Which means – as we all know – to poke someone up the Butt!

Sorry – got distracted.

Up the Butt Street (Minchinhampton), as well as other Cotswold-based locations!

For this panto is a grand tour of the locale. In fact, we’re on Piddly Plot Farm, where Mother Tweedy Goose’s sons – Clarkson (Liam Doyle) and Caleb (Dominic Treacy) – are extremely sad and worried. Energy bills are going through the roof: it looks as if they might have to sell the farm and all its animals.

And, almost as bad as a cost-of-living crisis, Demon Vanity (Jessica Martin) (a Bogof threat when the first threat seems fairly decisive; but who needs logic in panto) is also threatening to obliterate the farm or something.

The thing is: Tweedy (Tweedy)!

And the other thing is: Tweedy!

The cast might be eggsellent. But, eggsactly like boiled eggs, Tweedy is impossible to beat.

Also, we knew he’d look enchanting in polka-dot.

Great British Life: Mother Goose at Cheltenham's Everyman TheatreMother Goose at Cheltenham's Everyman Theatre (Image: Antony Thompson/TWM)Readers, I loved this panto. I loved it for one big polka-dot reason, and for lots of others, too. At times, it was hard to know whether to look at the stage, or at the children riveted, laughing, delighted. I’d brought my own son, Miles, along. When I took him to a previous Everyman panto, Aladdin, the curtains opened to Abanazar appearing in a blinding bang and flash. Ten seconds later, a shaken Miles and I disappeared to walk round Cheltenham until the panto finished some two hours later.

‘Will you be OK this time?’ I lean over, all maternal concern.

‘I’m coping better, 26 years on,’ he reassures me.

Fortunately, this is an all-laughs, no-flashing (that’s not strictly true, tbh. SPOILER: there is a Tweedy strip-tease) panto.

And there is a potential saviour. Enter Jo, the vet (Hollie Jane Stephens), whose goose is uncookable: it lays golden eggs, which might just save the farm… With the help, of course, of the Good Fairy of Gloucestershire (Bree Smith).

Will the farm prevail? Will it manage a fourth Amazon Prime series? (Sorry – wrong one.) Will Tweedy fulfil his dream of running his own circus once again?

My seals are lipped.

There’s singing; there’s dancing; there are Tweedy’s amazing costumes.

There are interval ice creams.

What do you think of it so far?’ Ian jovially shouts at the man on the end of our row, in Morecambe and Wise ‘RUBBISH!’ joke-style.

‘I think it’s very good so far,’ the man replies, clearly having a more confusing evening than he signed up to.

Go on. It doesn’t matter if you’re two or 92: buy a ticket. Start Christmas as you mean to go on: fun, laughter and a seasonal cracker. On this one, I’m right behind you.

Everyman Theatre, is in Regent St, Cheltenham GL50 1HQ, 01242 572573; everymantheatre.org.uk



BROUGHT TO YOU BY…

Cotswold Life Read more

Latest articles

More from Cotswold Life

BROUGHT TO YOU BY…

Cotswold Life Read more