Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings

Little risk paying big dividend

Mother Goose, played by Phil Sheffield, who makes all his own costumes, keeps an eye on Little Polly Flinders, played by Vicky Portman ad the Bigger, Badder Wolf played by Tony Stamp.

Mother Goose

Dudley Little Theatre

Netherton Arts Centre


IT’S that time of year again and Dudley Little Theatre’s festive offering has arrived in a flurry of feathers in the shape of Mother Goose at Netherton Arts Centre.

It’s been a very long time since I have seen Mother Goose performed as a pantomime and it’s nice to see amateur companies taking a little bit of a risk and doing something different.

The pantomime opens with Mother Goose (Phil Sheffield) talking to all the traditional nursery rhyme characters who are looking for some excitement in their life. Mother Goose proclaims they shall have an adventure and here the tale begins.

The characters stumble across a goose who has escaped the evil giant, a pair of Wolves are on his trail and a golden egg keeps getting bigger and bigger. Throw in a magical fairy, a damsel in distress in the form of Little Miss Muffet and you have yourself a show.

Much of the comedy is centred around the brilliant double act of the Big Bad Wolf and the Bigger Badder Wolf played by Gareth May and Tony Stamp. The Big Bad Wolf is on tranquilisers for his nerves, he has asthma therefore can’t blow the pigs house down and his colour-blindness prevents him from capturing Red Riding Hood! Pure pantomime gold.

May and Stamp have the best dialogue throughout the show and their slapstick double act really was the highlight of the production – they made me laugh out loud at several points.

Another brilliant part goes to Tommy Tucker’s (James Goode) under water scene in search of the golden egg. Goode was very believable in the role of Tommy Tucker and, as well being comical, you felt real empathy for him at times.

Whoever takes on the role of Mother Goose really has a challenge on their hands, very rarely leaving the stage, massive costume changes and basically carrying the entire show – Sheffield did this well and especially shone during the traditional pantomime “Underwear scene” which was very funny.

Louise Reed and Michael Kelly deserve a mention for their portrayal of sea monsters, spiders and sheep. It’s not easy to play multiple parts and they were particularly good as the spiders – they really were quite scary.

Throughout the production each nursery rhyme character had a moment to shine with a song, which worked well.

Overall the production was full of energy and the kids in the audience simply loved it. The cast had clearly worked very hard during the rehearsal process and on stage and thoroughly deserved their enthusiastic round of applause. To 07-12-13.

Eva Easthope 

Home Reviews A-Z Reviews by affiliate