The Emperor's New Clothes, The Blakeney Player, Blakeney, Norfolk. January 2017.
What a way to forget the grey, damp, chilly January weather! As ever the Players have created a wonderful piece of theatre - this time their most faithful pantomime I think I've seen them perform, but of course with that very local twist.
As ever full of jokes on all levels: from the names (Sheik N'Not Stirred) to the lovingly ripped off famous productions (Miss Saigon this time) and the best ones of all coming from the audience ("Hello boys and girls" calls the Prime Minister, "Hello Nanny" replies a small child in the front row...!)
These really are shows where you have to be there to really find them at their funniest and the over enthusiastic smoke machine at the end of Act One (along with a miss behaving prop) really were delights but the whole show was funny from start to finish and it has to be said this is a group of actors unafraid of anything, including very cleverly done stage nudity.
It doesn't matter what sort of mood you are in before settling into the plastic chairs in the village hall as soon as the curtain goes up you are swept away by a tide of goodwill and enthusiasm which sets you up for the rest of the day/week/winter and has you demanding the dates of the next shows as you leave the hall.
(As ever knowing the cast means that I am always going to be incredible biased when reviewing anything the Players put on but I do think that their productions stand up there with the best professional shows,)