It’s easy to big up everything that happens in Liverpool when you run a site that’s about the good stuff that happens in Liverpool. And sometimes you’ll read something in regional or local press and think to yourself: “I don’t believe you.”

And if you’d read an article bigging up the Everyman and Playhouse’s Rock’N’Roll Panto a few years back on here you could have been forgiven for thinking exactly that. We hadn’t seen it back then, but we were certain we wouldn’t like it. How wrong we were.

There’s something quite irresistible about the E+P’s annual panto – and it’s to their immense credit that they didn’t simply stop the Christmas indulgence in its tracks when the Everyman was bulldozed. It simply transferred to the notionally stuffier, rather more straight-laced Playhouse. And no-one missed a beat.

While it’s become something of a tradition to laud the outrageous comedy partnership of Francis Tucker and Adam Keast (pictured above in a previous performance) and always seems unfair on the rest of the cast, who are always wonderful, it is this dynamic that elevates the panto into something even old curmudgeons can get on board with. Namely filth, absurd costumes, water pistols and the overwhelming impression that they’re having the time of their lives.

Although the story seems rather incidental, this year it’s Jack and the Beanstalk. Again, the duo of Sarah A. Nixon and Mark Chatterton are handling various writing and directorial duties. Don’t expect a radical reimagining of the genre, but do expect a framework that allows a talented cast to excel at singing, dancing and, well, being stupid.

So, yes, it’ll be winter soon (boo!). But the Rock’N’Roll Panto will be back (hoorah!). And we will be there making tits of ourselves. Believe it.

The Rock’N’Roll Panto: Jack and the Beanstalk
Liverpool Playhouse
Friday 30 November 2012 – Saturday 19 January 2013

  • Jack

    I’m in my mid-thirties now and I’ve been going to the Everyman pantos since I was a teenager (just had a gap when the Everyman was closed). I wish I could agree with your excitement but they’re just not what they used to be, it’s been feeling a bit tired for the last few years but the last panto (at the playhouse) really was bad. We took friends from overseas to see it and had to apologise afterwards.

    I think the problem is with the writing team and the theatre’s decision to keep using the same writers every year, they’ve become incredibly unimaginative. This year I’ve taken the sad decision to stop going, at least until they change the writers.

    They’re a long long way from the glory days of Cinderella & Her Rockin Fella.

  • http://www.sevenstreets.com Robin Brown

    Really the most – or least – you can say about the rock’n’roll panto is ‘is it what it is’. Yes it’s the same every year, but what else would it be?