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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Directed by Sarah Redmond

Bournemouth Echo
"It is fun and laughter all the way in one of the happiest pantos to grace the Bournemouth Pavilion stage.

From the moment the curtain rises on this perfectly targeted family show we are swept along by mad-cap comedy and magical mayhem of this festive stunner.

Ample audience participation, slap-stick comedy, enchanting sets, and wonderful dance numbers all add up to the perfect fun-filled family panto!”


Full Review
 
     
 
Peter Pan
Directed by Sarah Redmond

Bournemouth Echo
"This is a great show to kickstart the festive season, it could even coax a smile from Scrooge. Christmas isn't Christmas without panto and this is no turkey, it's a cracker.”

Full Review
 
     
 
Jack and the Beanstalk
Directed by Sarah Redmond

The Sussex newspaper
"With all the elements that go together to make a traditional pantomime, some slick choreography to keep the dancers busy, a huge array of colourful costumes and some dramatic pyrotechnic effects, this production has something for everyone and makes for a wonderful festive treat."

Review by The Stage
"Slick, heartwarming and fun"

 
     
     
 
Peter Pan
Directed by Sarah Redmond

Review by Helen Brown
British Theatre Guide

Sunderland Empire Theatre has a success story on its hands.  A high-flying, unmissable Christmas treat that’s got everything, including children and animals.  The loveable baby-sitting dog Nana is played with expert canine acting skills by Lauren Sproates, and there is also a rather effective great big slithery crocodile.
It feels wrong to describe J M Barrie’s enchanting children’s story as a pantomime although having ‘pan’ at the beginning of the word almost makes it forgiveable.

Nevertheless, it’s been a long time since Sunderland produced a Christmas Show but the Ambassador Theatre Group have pushed out the pirate boat and made something very memorable. 

The sets are magnificent; everything looks brand-spanking new and director Sarah Redmond has obviously worked very hard to keep this production tight and contemporary without losing sight of the original storyline. 

Emmerdale’s Tom Lister makes Captain Hook into the brilliant baddy that all the children love to hate and the teenagers love to love; he must be the sexiest Capt’n Hook I’ve ever seen. He also makes a darling Mr. Darling too.

CBeebies presenter Katy Ashworth is the perfect Peter Pan: she oozes a wonderful child-like confidence and is so brave to fly across the tops of the audience heads all the way up to the upper circle.  All the children in the production are from three local organisations, Kathleen Davis Stage School, Muriel Harrison School of Dance and Drama and Shameem Karim School of Performing Arts, and they are all, dare I say it, 'pantastic'. 

Writer Andrew Ryan, has shadowed J M Barries storyline mingling some very appropriate modern songs like ‘Flying Without Wings’ and ‘I Believe I Can Fly’.  

Of course every Christmas show this year has gone gangnam style; who would have thought that a South Korean musician called PSY could have this much effect on a British Christmas? 

Choreographer Vanessa Leagh-Hicks, has found some charming moves and her interpretation of the Slumdog Millionaire dance Jai Ho was one of the show’s highlights.

A quick mention too for roller-skating Elisha Covell as the feisty Tinker Bell and Courtney-May Briggs’ delicate Tiger Lilly, and I can’t miss out Sunderland lass, Sophina Afzal, who is part of the Townsfolk and an Indian on her home territory, excellent. 

Best line is delivered by Hook as he is about to try and kill Peter Pan: “ You are so dead Pan!”

Brilliant show, full of fun and a great welcome back to Christmas for the Sunderland Empire Theatre who have certainly lived up to their title of West End of the North with this production