York institution Berwick Kaler has spectacularly ‘got the band back together’ this week, as Saturday saw curtain up on ‘Old Granny Goose’ at the Grand Opera House.
Aware that the excellent David Leonard had been cast as ‘Lucifer’ – Mag North thought we should send some heavy hitters to press night – so our Church of England ‘Devil defeater’ Rev Paul Millard and his chum Andy headed out on Wednesday in their best Christmas jumpers to soak up some pantotastic entertainment.
Paul: “I’ve not been to a panto for many years, but there was something very familiar with Old Granny Goose. Though the beginning felt a bit slow, soon the gags were working well and I found myself laughing and singing along.”
Berwick, along with his theatrical family: Martin Barrass, Suzy Cooper, Jake Lindsay, David Leonard, and AJ Powell, have been delighting audiences in the city for decades – and their welcome on stage was something very special.
Paul explains: “It’s my first panto with Berwick Kaler in and he did steal the show with such a natural and impromptu stage presence and humour. Clearly panto flows through his veins. His performance was closely followed (though I felt conflicted due to my own profession), by Lucifer played by David Leonard. He was a great villain character. Both actors engaged wonderfully with the audience.
“The whole team from those with decades of experience to the young dancers from York Stage School showed a great togetherness and joy at working together.
“Though I was a newbie to Berwick and Co, my friend who had accompanied me has been to many. It felt to me that the more you attend the more you would get some of the repeating patterns, sections and sayings, which he agreed with.”
One of the few things we can definitely count on at the moment – is that Berwick and his team are providing a magic potion for us all to imbibe – and we should ‘fill our glasses’ with some of their incredible pantojoy.
Old Granny Goose runs at Grand Opera House York until 8 January 2023. Tickets and info HERE