- Miles Hedley
THE QUEEN OF HEARTS at Greenwich Theatre
Legendary panto dame Andrew Pollard is heading to Greenwich Theatre once again for the festive season – oh, yes he is!
After a year’s layoff because of the pandemic, the award-winning writer/director/star and his trusty team of regular collaborators, including king of the villains Anthony Spargo, will be treading the boards from late November into the new year with Pollard’s latest creation, his unique take on the old story of The Queen Of Hearts.
And what better way for the whole family to shake off the shackles of lockdown than to revel in nearly two hours of mayhem, magic and music – with plenty of booing, hissing, cheering and audience participation, too – laid on by the master of madcap merriment?
This year’s tall tale is packed with wonderful characters, a ludicrously convoluted plot about a secret jam recipe, gags by the score and plenty of great tunes. Plus, of course, there’s Andrew himself in the title role. What’s not to love?
Musical director Steve Markwick will, as ever, lead the live band and the gloriously colourful set is once again being designed by Cleo Pettitt. And alongside Messrs Polland and Spargo there will be a trio of new faces in the cast - Myla Cole Newell, Emma Jay Thomas and Gibsa Bah.
James Haddrell, Greenwich Theatre’s executive director, said: “Having had a long time to think about the best way to return to panto, we were all agreed in wanting to present something unusual, something very new and at the same time something that has the whole history and heritage of pantomime at its heart.
“Welcome, then, The Queen of Hearts, a classic pantomime title from decades past but largely forgotten today.
“This spectacular show will feature all the classic Greenwich ingredients that everybody loves along with a few surprises on stage. It’s certainly been a long time coming but we know that audiences are going to love it.”
The Queen Of Hearts runs from 19 November to 2 January. For further details, including performance times and how to book, go to www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk