Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Location: Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Three Bears lr

By Tim Saunders

The moment my daughter Heidi (9) and I arrive at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton to watch Goldilocks and the Three Bears we are greeted by magic. In the foyer a showman pulls us to one side and says, “Look at this sachet.” He lights it and all of a sudden presents Heidi with a lollipop. Now that’s a party trick. “How did he do that Daddy?” If only I knew. Magic continues on stage during this circus themed production with Joey (Richard Cadell) disappearing before our eyes on various occasions including very cleverly while on his motorcycle. He just happens to be friends with Sooty and Sweep. I grew up watching Sooty on the TV and seeing him live on stage brings back happy memories as it does for many of the other parents in the audience.

This is a production packed with loud music, bright costumes and some magnificent life-like animals in the form of giraffes, ape and an enormous elephant. Heidi is absolutely mesmerised, really savouring the spectacular performances of the roller skaters and the incredible balancing act. There’s some really great dancing and special effects, too.

Then there’s the singing and humour, all of which combine to create a really uplifting family production that is definitely one to watch this Christmas. When the Three Bears appear we are informed that they have been through the most dangerous of woods; Lordswood – it’s good to see some local gags, with Shirley and Chilworth not escaping either. Joey teases the Evil Ringmaster (Jason Donovan) and there are some very enjoyable sketches, not least the spoon and the saucepan between the legs which makes me chuckle. When Goldilocks announces that Joey can be her boyfriend he informs her that he’ll treat her… by taking her home and putting the heating on. Certainly a production for our times and the performers all look like they’re enjoying themselves, which is just as well when they’ve got two performances a day until December 31.