Pantomime Review: Red Riding Hood at the Everyman, Cork

4/5

Pantomime Review: Red Riding Hood at the Everyman, Cork

Psychologists say it can be helpful to laugh at things you fear — it lessens the power of the scary stuff. That must be the reason for the Trump and Nathan Carter jokes at this year’s Everyman panto.

Red Riding Hood was the classic blend of fart jokes, political satire, dancing tots and slapstick. And boy did the audience love it.

If you’ve forgotten your fairytales, then the basic storyline is: Red, a sweet little girl, must visit her not-so-sweet grandmother and dodge the dastardly wolf along the way. Somehow, director, Catherine Mahon-Buckley and script writer, Martin Higgins, manage to jam in a storm-trooper, a Michael Jackson medley, a feisty squirrel and plenty dabbing along the way too.

Red was played by Charlotte O’Halloran from Glanmire on the night we attended — and she was really great. My gang were very impressed with her, as much for her liveliness at such a late hour as for her spot-on performance. And I heard from others who attended on other nights that Nessa O’Callaghan, who also plays that role, is equally fab.

Fionuala Linehan plays Slobber, an appropriately-named, hyper dog — and she definitely must be sipping something to give her performance wings.

Keith Hanley, who won RTÉ’s Voice of Ireland 2013, gave us the most hip and cool wolf we’ve seen. He was great fun until the under-the-bed chase scene when I certainly heard some genuine screams from kids in the theatre.

Ciarán Bermingham, pictured, is absolutely the gold here. The gurning, simpering and preening are ferociously entertaining — my kids just love when ‘she’ breaks into an unscripted giggle at the ridiculousness of it all. And you’ve gotta be impressed by the versatility of this actor — he’s been a grim gaoler in Game of Thrones and has also had a plum role in The Young Offenders in the past year.

Get yourself to this panto — it might ease your Trump or Nathan Carter nightmares, even if it gives you night terrors about wolves behind your bed.

  • Red Riding Hood continues at the Everyman until Sunday, January 8. The 7.30pm performance on January 6 has a sign language interpretation.

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