Bath Theatre Royal, 8th December 2016 – 8th January 2017
Spectacle, fun and excitement are what this production is all about and in the hands of Bath favourites Jon Monie and Nick Wilton, with some stars from children’s TV and a group of talented local youngsters, it’s the perfect family show for the holiday season.
…the old favourite routines (how could Bath panto continue without the bench and the ghost?) are augmented by some inventive new scenes, specially the one in the laundry. Nick Wilton’s Widow Twankey, a buxom and boisterous wench, has an eye for the boys and costume changes to equal the Kardashian record.
Fine Times Recorder
Jon Monie and Nick Wilton are entertaining us at the Theatre Royal Bath – so it must be Christmas! Mr Monie has become the consummate panto comic lead. His is the kind of performance that allows you to sink comfortably into your seat knowing you are in good hands. His Wishee Washee is that artful blend of standup comic and likeable character that reaches out to the younger members of the audience whilst keeping up a flow of knowing one-liners that whizz over their heads to the mums and dads, keeping them chuckling all the way through the show. It’s a particular kind of role, native to panto, which Mr Monie has thoroughly mastered and clearly enjoys.
Similarly Nick Wilton is firmly in touch with his inner ‘dame’; a role he in turn can rightly claim to have mastered. His Widow Twankey is, like Mr Monie, a lesson in timing. Moreover he has understood that as the dame it is not necessary to indulge in a great blancmange of overacting (Elizabeth Dennis’s gloriously colourful and witty costumes do that for him), but to play it as a (nearly) straight, if somewhat desperate (thex thtarved) lady of a certain age. The two stalwarts working together are a joy.
But best of all though has to be the double act of Jon Monie as Wishee Washee and Nick Wilton as Widow Twankey. Jon Monie has developed into a first-rate panto star, exhibiting superb comic timing and knowing exactly how the jokes – old and older – should be told for best effect. Meanwhile panto dame supreme Nick Wilton raps, dances, sings and sashays with superb comic effect, channeling an inner Les Dawson to great effect and with a wardrobe that would make the average mardi gras queen blush.