The curtain was raised on Eric Potts’ latest offering of Robinson Crusoe at the Regent Theatre and it is sure to be a winner with panto-goers this winter. Jonathan Wilkes returns for a sixth year as the title character with Jennifer Ellison as his girlfriend Polly. Both give strong performances and the on-stage chemistry is clear for all to see.
The panto is set in old Port Stokie which is next to Burslem harbour, when Crusoe anchors in on the good ship Vuvuzela accompanied by sidekicks Hanley and Tunstall, only to set sail once again to find the buried treasure of Kagagoogoo. Trouble rears it’s ugly head in the form of Captain Cutlass who is brilliantly played by Steve Serlin who will be familiar to panto-goers as last years King Rat.
Accompanying Robinson and Polly on their journey is Dame Dolly Dumpling played by Arthur Bostrom, best remembered for his role as officer Crabtree in Allo’ Allo’, a reference that does not go unmentioned. Quite how Bostrom get’s into costumes that would have Lady GaGa green with envy, is worth the entrance fee itself.
Wilkes is his usual self, with a cheeky grin, bags of enthusiasm and an endearing jack-the-lad style that is perfectly complimented by Bostrom as his comedic foil, whilst Ellison, graduate of dance, 2 top 20 hits under her belt and a Hollywood appearance, carry’s herself in a manner befitting her prestigious background.
One special mention goes to Sam Bloor, winner of Stoke’s Top Talent, who plays the cocky cabin boy with an eye for Crusoe’s Polly. Sam was fantastic in the role and whilst a top notch vocal performance saw him with through the competition, can now add acting to his growing list of talent’s. A confident performance along with great vocals will ensure that this is only the beginning for Sam.
A strong soundtrack supports the dialogue and well choreographed routines are the perfect accompaniment to ensure that the desert island heat warms the cockles.