REVIEW: Red Riding Hood, New Wolsey Theatre ✭✭✭✭✭

Last Updated on 1st December 2017

Red Riding Hood Review New Wolsey Theatre
Lana Walker as Goldilocks, Lucy Wells as Red Riding Hood and Isobel Bates as Bo Peep in Red Riding Hood.

Red Riding Hood
New Wolsey Theatre
28 November 2017
5 Stars

The New Wolsey’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto has become as traditional as Christmas and Panto itself. A hugely multi-talented ensemble takes a well known story, crafted into a brand new experience by writer and director Peter Rowe, and creates an unforgettable evening of fun. This year is no exception, with the tale of Red Riding Hood being set in the village of Soggy Bottom, with appearances from Goldilocks, Little Miss Moffett and Bo Peep. All the panto elements are there, but this is one show that ROCKS!

Red Riding Hood New Wolsey Theatre
Rob Falconer as The Wolf and Lucy Wells as Red Riding Hood.

The ensemble is terrific, with Rob Falconer hugely impressive as the villain Sir Jasper Falconer, who is also revealed as the Big Bad Wolf. His vocal range is stunning, particularly as the heavy metal wolf, chewing up the scenery with Nirvana, and working the audience so well as Sir Jasper. The Dame, Grandma Millicent Merry, is a wonderful creation by Simon Nock, and the jokes sometimes go very close to the knuckle, particularly at the expense of the Woodcutter’s chopper. She is absolutely filthy, and I LOVED it! Once you have seen the Wolf singing You Can Leave Your Hat On as Dame Merry “strips”, you will never read the fairy tale in the same way again!

Simon Nock as Dame Millicent Merry in Red Riding Hood

Lucy Wells, A.K.A Red Riding Hood, is a feisty, modern heroine and her rendition of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep is a particular highlight, her vocals throughout the show are superb! Her love interest, Prince Florizel Fortunate, is played by the hugely likeable Max Runham, so terrific in Tommy at this venue earlier this year, now a totally engaging hero. Adam Langstaff and Daniel Carter Hope are hilarious as Dodgit and Bodgit, Sir Jasper’s incompetent henchmen, and James Haggie almost seals the show with his hysterically mincing servant Ruffles. Truth be told, there isn’t a weak link, and the amazing aspect of the show is watching the cast move seamlessly between actors and musicians.

Red Riding Hood at New Wolsey Theatre
Max Runham as Prince Florizel Fortunate and James Haggie as Fuffles in Red Riding Hood.

One of the joys is waiting to see which song will be incorporated into the script, and there is something for everyone, with classics such as Sweet Caroline and I’m Coming Out providing audience sing-a-longs, and more recent work by the likes of Ed Sheeran . The crew and designers have done a marvellous job in creating a compact and multi-functional set, and I could just list the things I love about it and it would go on forever. For a couple of hours, you will be totally taken out of yourself, and if you weren’t in a festive mood before you entered the theatre, I guarantee you will be when you leave! A howling success!

Until 27 January 2018


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