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Oxford Playhouse - Mother Goose

7th December 2001 to 13th January 2002.

This is from the NWN.

Eggstravagant fun

'MOTHER GOOSE', at The Oxford Playhouse, until Sunday, January 13

'Mother Goose', this year's traditional Christmas family show at the Oxford Playhouse, was first performed on the stage in 1806. Originally a character in folk tales created by Charles Perrault in 1697 this version of Mother Goose was written by Paul Knight, who has penned five previous pantomimes for the Playhouse. With an integrated professional and amateur cast, choreographed and directed by Michèle Hardy, Mother Goose proves to be an eggsemplary tonic for a cold winter's day.

The play is set in a pretty English village dominated by the buffoonish squire (a long-legged, Prince Philip-accented Chris Scott) and his mild-mannered incompetent sidekick Hayseed (a larger than life pink-checked Crispin Harris).

When Mother Goose (a convincing portrait of a dowdy dame from Russell Dixon) discovers a goose that lays golden eggs, then everyone wants a piece of the action. Two fairies, the pretty, good Harmony (Lizzie Deane) and the handsome, evil Vanity (Lloyd Notice) battle for the soul of Mother Goose to see if she's tempted by her newly-found fortune. Sorting out all the problems are bickering lovers Lucy Lockett (cute Alison Senior) and Tommy Tucker (cute Andrew Norris). So what eggsactly did my co-reviewer think of this mock-Victorian morality play?

Robert writes... all the characters use nursery rhymes and I especially liked the rhymes from Vanity and Harmony. The jokes are funny, like: "why doesn't a penguin fly? - because it's a chocolate bar!" Mother Goose appeals to all ages - I heard my mummy laugh quite a lot. The songs are brilliant with good singing and dance flips. The lighting and effects are very good. The curtain is very sparkly and had eggsquisite colours. The designs show the magic at Christmas - especially the town square sets. The costumes are good and Mother Goose has some great dresses. The programme is good for kids because you can colour in pictures and play 'spot the difference'. I'd give Mother Goose 9 and a quarter out of 10. It would have got 10 except during the song at the end, I think it was sexist to split up the boys from the girls to see who could sing the loudest.