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My first Marlowe panto

Nothing says Christmas quite like a pantomime and last night I got to experience a Marlowe Theatre pantomime for the first time at the Mother Goose press night (gifted tickets). Starring Dr Ranj, Jenna Russell and the Marlowe’s resident dame Ben Roddy to name a few, Mother Goose is playing at the Marlowe Theatre throughout the festive season right up until 12th January. As a big Disney fan I was familiar with pantomimes such as a Cinderella and Aladdin, but I had no idea what to expect from Mother Goose. This was part of the fun though as I got to watch a relatively unknown fairytale on the Marlowe stage!

Mother Goose pantomime at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

The plot

Pantomimes are all about humour, extravagant costumes and audience participation, and Mother Goose had all of these things. The fairytale tells the story of a poor family who were gifted a magical goose that lays golden eggs. Given the family’s money troubles, you’d think that “Sally goose” (the name for her in our performance) would solve all of their problems but unfortunately the goose is still not enough for lead character Mother Goose (Ben Roddy). Mother Goose wants to be beautiful!

Pantomime poster outside the Canterbury Tales pub

Tempted by the prospect of eternal beauty by Demon Vanity (Marc Pickering), Billy (Lloyd Hollett), Charlie (Dr Ranj) and Jill (Trina Hill) must help Mother Goose see that looks don’t matter and it’s what’s inside that counts. The Fairy Goodfeather (Jenna Russell) acts as a guardian for Mother Goose, providing narration throughout the production and providing the family with a moral compass.

Mother Goose gift shop at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Filled with puns, slapstick comedy and ad libs, I was laughing the whole way through the show. “Oh no he didn’t”, “it’s the law” and “boo” were phrases used frequently throughout the show. There were lots of in-jokes and references to previous pantomimes and it made me realise how much the panto is loved by locals. It’s a real family affair and the atmosphere is brilliant!

The cast

Mother Goose cast at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
© Pamela Raith Photography

Ben Roddy is celebrating 10 years this year as the Marlowe Dame. He’s definitely considered Marlowe royalty and the audience were really enjoying his one-liners and puns whilst playing Mother Goose. Marc Pickering was also hilarious as Demon Vanity, always making a big entrance and posing and pouting for the audience. You could tell that the cast were having a blast throughout the performance and if you can’t have this much fun in theatre at Christmas, when can you?

The music

Featuring The Beatles, The Blues Brothers and more, Mother Goose certainly had its fair share of popular music. There was even a “Ghostbusters” scene which would’ve been absolutely barmy in any other circumstance, but as it’s panto it totally worked.

Christmas tree outside the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

I thoroughly enjoyed my first Marlowe Pantomime and after an evening of laughter and festive fun, I’m feeling very ready for Christmas. If you’re looking for something festive to do in Kent this December, definitely book tickets to see Mother Goose. It’s great fun for all of the family and a fun thing to do over the Christmas and New Year period.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

Love Kat xxxx



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