Family Friendly Milton Keynes Panto – Red Riding Hood Versus the Wolf

After a run of sold out previews, Stantonbury Theatre’s second in-house pantomime has been running for the festive season and it has some wicked reviews!

“Absolutely my favourite panto, hands down” Nancy Stevens, Secklow Sounds

Intimate, funny and talent filled” Love MK on last years panto Robin Hood

It sounds really good and we had a good time visiting on 23rd December – scroll to the bottom to see what we thought.

It is suitable for all the family and promises an entertaining and high quality performance by some seriously talented, professional actor-musicians. It looks like a great option if you were looking for something different to the large scale celebrity panto! Visit their site.

The Story

This Red Riding Hood is a sideways glance at a traditional tale. It tells the story of Scarlett, the reluctant star of the Annual Red Riding Hood Parade, which has been held every year to remember the terrible wolf-related incident that happened at Grandma’s house many years ago. She’s trapped in a village that only cares about keeping safe and hating wolves, and now she has to wander around in a red riding hood all day. When charismatic stranger Victor von Crepe (and his porcine sidekick Hamlet) arrive in the village with a trunk-full of amazing inventions to transfix the whole town, Scarlett has her suspicions. Hasn’t anyone noticed what big teeth he has?

The amazing cast is supported by a young performers from Stantonbury International School.

Directed by Stantonbury artistic director Lucy Cuthbertson and written by Kerry Frampton and Ben Hales, the show takes a fresh look at the well-known tale of Red Riding Hood in what is becoming a recognisably Stantonbury style – rejecting expectations, challenging the stereotypes of classic fairy tales, foregrounding female protagonists and genuinely offering something for every generation.

Director Lucy Cuthbertson said “When I took over the role of artistic director at Stantonbury Theatre last year, the venue wasn’t being run either for the benefit of the students of Stantonbury International School (where the venue is based) or with, in my view, an interesting professional artistic programme. I knew that in trying to change those things, one of the cornerstones of the new programme should be our own professional Christmas show. The first year, presented in partnership with Splendid Productions and Greenwich Theatre, was a critical and commercial success. We are delighted to have reunited our co-producers for this second year, and sales are looking even better.

Visit their website for more information and to buy tickets 🙂

What I thought

We visited for an evening performance and had a lovely time. The theatre is small and intimate and the characters were absolutely amazing! particularly the wolf (played Kerry Frampton who is very very good) they brought out the best in each other too which meant that throughout the performance it kept getting better and better. Both my 5 year old and my 8 year old really enjoyed it, laughing and shouting when they were supposed to.

The songs were really lovely and the story wasn’t at all predictable and it was really entertaining with  good audience involvement and lots of jokes! What was so refreshing about this panto was that it doesn’t rely in on a star studded cast to take your attention away from the fact the story isn’t actually great or the characters are really mediocre. I find that when you go and see these large scale pantos they rely a lot on the names to pull it through – much like a movie with huge, impressive explosions but awful acting and to me that’s what made this panto stand out.

What my 8 year old said about it

I think it was a lovely experience and it was enjoyable for both adults and children. Some parts are really funny and very entertaining. There’s a little break in the middle and ice cream is sold at two bars. Near the end some children were called onto the stage.

My 5 year old was tired and didn’t want to comment at this time but she was getting involved so I will take that as a good sign 🙂

If you were looking for something a little more relaxed but lots of fun this is perfect. They’re only on for a little while more so book tickets very very soon if you wanted to see it before it finishes.

Visit their site.

 

 

 

Free indoor places to visit in Herts, Beds and Bucks

The colder and wetter weather is finding its way to us now which means either spending a fortune on days out or having the mini’s climb the walls with boredom!

I have put together a list of free places to visit in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire that will hopefully help to keep your little ones busy without breaking the bank – even if its only for a few hours.

This list includes places that I have been to, places that I am aware of and also places that have been recommended by my readers.  I haven’t been to all of these but will be updating it with our experience (I have added Trip Advisor for you to see whether it is worth travelling there) and if you have been to any of these Id love to know your thoughts – or let me know of any others you would recommend in the comments section. 

Please be aware that some of these places operate as charities so donations are welcome.

Free places to visit in Herts

Free places to visit in Beds

Free places to visit in Bucks