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Mother Goose shines and fascinates

PUBLISHED: 11:13 11 December 2009 | UPDATED: 09:32 12 August 2010

GOLDEN EGG: Mother Goose.

GOLDEN EGG: Mother Goose.

THIS is the fourth time that Andrew Pollard has assayed the Dame at Greenwich Theatre for their hugely popular Christmas pantomime, writes Edward Martyn. Mother Goose is the Hamlet of Dames declares Andrew, and he ought to know, having played many Shak

THIS is the fourth time that Andrew Pollard has assayed the Dame at Greenwich Theatre for their hugely popular Christmas pantomime, writes Edward Martyn.

Mother Goose is 'the Hamlet of Dames' declares Andrew, and he ought to know, having played many Shakespearian roles in a long and varied career.

The band strikes up and 'Fame' welcomes us to Nursery Rhyme Land where Bo Peep and Miss Muffet dance and Mary Hubbard (Madeline Appiah) with her impecunious old mum (Andrew Pollard) bemoan their lack of finance as squire Georgie Porgie (Paul Critoph) arrives for the rent.

Old Mother H has to admit that her attempts to win the local talent contest with a version of I Dreamed A Dream was more of a nightmare and she is still flat broke.

Enter Essex-Girl Fairy Featherlight, the chav with a plan.

She introduces a feathered goldmine called Priscilla - goose on the loose - played by an anonymous but talented small cast member, and the golden eggs appear on cue to save Ma's bacon.

However, with the advent of Demonica Baddegg (A spirited and glittering Manal El-Feitury) things take a turn for the worse, as she works her demonic charms on Ma and turns her into a wannabe beauty queen, rejecting her humble goose and loving daughter in favour of a dodgy beauty treatment at the woodland spa.

At this point Mary's boyfriend Tom (The Piper's Son) played by David O'Mahony, tries to put things right, but he is plagued by his reputation as a pig-stealer and nobody will help him.

There is much skulduggery and tomfoolery, as Hubbard and Georgie assail the captive audience with high-powered water pistols and Demonica and her gremlins throw a fetish party for wayward villagers in preparation for the roasting of a stolen Priscilla, soon to become queen of the dessert unless Tom can pull of a James Bond style rescue.

Needless to say good triumphs in the end and on the way there are several barnstorming numbers including a fabulous version of Beyonce's Single Ladies video by Pollard and a rap spectacular by the cast which brought the house down.

Mary and Tom sing You're Everything to point up the message that togetherness is what really counts in life not botox and Demonica is finally converted to flower power and joins in the celebrations as we all sing Like The Birdies Sing and go out transformed by the power of silliness and good humour into the endless winter rains.

Steve Markwick serves up another musical feast to follow last years triumph and Ellen Jakubiel provides the excellent choreography which the D&B college kids use to romp and twirl into our hearts.

Not even the appearance of some of the oldest jokes in panto history can take the shine off this Christmas spectacular.

* Mother Goose is at Greenwich Theatre, Crooms Hill, Greenwich, until January 3, 2010. Tickets are from £13, call the box office on 020 8858 7755.

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