• Amy Toledano

The Fairy-tale Revolution: Wendy’s Awfully Big Adventure presented by Theatre503

Image courtesy of Helen Murray

What is it?

A pantomime? Or an anti-pantomime? Possibly a mixture of both.. It has all of the classic tropes that you will see in any other Panto this festive season (so you don’t feel at all like you’re missing out!) but with all expectations and roles and ‘duties’ flipped on their head. Normally there wouldn't be an expectation to go in to a Panto wondering what will happen and who will prosper, but this show cleverly grapples with that and keeps you on your toes in a way that is totally unanticipated and really enjoyable.

What is it about?

Wendy (we all know the one- well at least we think we do...) is fed up with a life of cooking, cleaning and picking up after men. Hook is also in a rut and tired of his villainous persona and is looking to live a quiet life with his poetry. An unlikely alliance is formed by the pair and they set off on a quest to rewrite their stories. A very slick off stage villain of The Narrator is a wonderfully comic antagonist, and do keep a special eye out for the appearance of some puppets who are a real treat!

How did it make me feel?

Christmassy - as any Pantomime should! This piece is a breath of fresh air in a genre that can be, at times, tired and worn out. It’s aware of both itself and its message, while also knowing exactly what it isn’t trying to say which is very important. There is an involuntary want to constantly cheer for the women on stage (a fabulous all female cast of Louise Beresford and Anna Spearpoint who wrote this piece, along with Anais Lone and Helena Morais) who present such a strong range of characters and it is thrilling to know that so many children will be watching this over the festive period. The Fairy-tale Revolution is a brilliant show for little girls to witness, as there is so much female empowerment throughout, something long overdue and still very much in demand right.

Where is it playing?

This runs at Theatre503 until 31st December so no excuse not to go along. With imagination anything goes, and the cosy space feels like it has the vastness of a whole universe at times, and others the claustrophobia of Aladdin’s cave.

Anything else?

A real treat for all the family, this show has something for everyone. It is laden with subtlety and wit alongside classic troupes every panto needs. References are contemporary but accessible enough for children and adults alike. This show is even enjoyable for those who aren’t fans of pantomime’s, which is a credit to the writing from Beresford and Spearpoint and imaginative characterisations by the whole cast.

Sophie x

The Fairy-tale Revolution: Wendy’s Awfully Big Adventure is playing at Theatre503 until the 31st December 2019.

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