Thanks to that wicked villain, Coronavirus, we have had to wait an extra year for the infamous Chipping Norton panto. So has Rapunzel been worth the wait? Oh, yes it most definitely has!
Judging by the excitement bubbling up in the foyer before the performance, right up to the riotous finale, we all felt the same. And The Theatre Chipping Norton, always a benchmark for regional pantomimes, has excelled itself with this production.
“ALL THEATRE NEEDS OUR SUPPORT THIS YEAR, BUT YOU CAN HAPPILY SATISFY YOUR SOCIAL CONSCIENCE WITH THIS BRILLIANT NIGHT OUT“
Whether the Brothers Grimm would have recognised this particularly feisty Rapunzel, really didn’t matter. Instead, the evening was filled with song and dance, singalongs and visual gags.
As with the best pantomimes, there were plenty of topical asides, from Brexit and the refugee crisis (masterfully handled by Gareth Cooper as Jobs, and Amy Perry as Worth – you get the idea), to lockdown – suitably topical considering Rapunzel (Rhian Lynch) WAS locked in a tower for 18 years.
Fresh and lively, with a wonderful Dame, J.J. Henry, holding together the wonderfully improbable plot, largely through yoga and scouting.
The singing and music were terrific, especially when performed by Alex Cardall’s Rudi, Amy Rhiannon Worth’s Gothel and Gareth Cooper and Amy Perry‘s multi-tasking. Anna Soden as both Max and Waylon the Weasel has to be seen.
However, one of the great treats of the evening were the Pippin children on stage – the Strawberries on Friday night who were confident, professional and joyful to watch.
The production is on until January 9, so GO, taking anyone who’s up for a treat. All theatre needs our support this year, but you can happily satisfy your social conscience with this brilliant night out. https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/whats-on/rapunzel