Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Bob Towers, Edmund O’ Hare, Teneye Alvarado, Maggi Green, Charlotte Thomas, George Melling, P.J. Murray, Yahya Baggash, Peter Durr.
The song is right, it is the most magical time of the year, one in which we come together to hopefully remember what true message is, one not to be sucked into a world of commercialism, one not to be in the grip of debt, not one to be feel the need to be greedy or over burdened by the selfishness of others. Just one that allows the heart to find forgiveness to others and to yourself, one that in which children and adults alike can find the delight in time together and one which even in the depths of a snow filled scene can lead to a love that might not thought possible.
The Christmas times we have today are an invention, one that challenges our souls at times, one that every year seems to start earlier; one that leaves you deflated before the eventual day begins. A more simpler time is perhaps what we crave, a time in which the Georgian period knew how to see the day and celebrate it with a sense of beguiling purity rather than 21st Century excess. It is an ethos that Liverpool’s own Burjesta Theatre offer with gladness and absolute spirit in their version of Mother Goose at the Casa on Hope Street.
Based on what is considered the original panto of them all, dating from 1806 Drury Lane and adapted with great care and attention by Julian Bond and directed by the talented Mikyla Jane Durkan, Mother Goose is a symbolic return to the time when Christmas meant so much more than the sound of tills ringing out a merry tune and shopping beyond hope, this is a Christmas show which embraces what was once a time in which a family was everything and in which community was more than just a by word uttered by politicians when trying to prove a point.
To capture the spirit of the first regarded pantomime whilst keeping the performance up to date takes great skill and be seen to be completely different to what could be expected. The characters of Pennypinch/Pantaloon, Colin/Harlequin, Squire/Clown and Colinette/Columbine are very well drawn and Peter Durr especially throws his lot in with marvellous effect as the clown.
Mother Goose is a heart warming production once again by Burjesta Theatre, one in which a tale from a different time and thought of entertaining the local community during the Christmas period is welcome, full of the hope of the season’s morality and one in which revels in the beauty of absolute strength in the people behind it.
Ian D. Hall