Wishee Washee’s away the winter blues with Peking’s most famous pantomime laundrette family.
Indeed, in the most inspired scene of the show, Gareth Carson hits the audience’s collective funny bone. First he gets stuck in the clothes dryer and becomes as flat as a pancake. Efforts to rehydrate him in the washing machine serve only to shrink him into a mischievous five year old!
Joseph Walker is charming and likeable as our eponymous hero. His rendition of Corner of The Sky showcases a fine singing voice. His brother, Matthew Walker, plays his mother, Widow Twankey. Walker Senior hams it up in flamboyant garb, adorned with assorted clothing items. Corny lines for the children; “a crime of passionfruit” are interspersed with the obligatory innuendo “allusions to Attercliffe’s less salubrious establishments”.
Handsworth & Hallam Theatre Company is a true family society with youngsters dancing on stage tonight aged just three years old right up to young at heart sexagenarians.
There’s a good mix of musical numbers with the modern pop of One Direction and Olly Murs as well as show tunes such as We’re In the Money. There is well choreographed dancing to Christina Alguilera’s Genie in a Bottle as well as silly fun with M C Hammer’s old school Can’t Touch This. Steve Mather keeps things simple with tight direction and a brisk pace.
Amy Roe-Parkin is the romantic interest, So-Shi. Robert Taylor is her father. Fraser Hirst is rent-a-baddie Abanazar. Sally Brown and Debbie Mather are nice but dim PCs Ping and Pong.