We've made it a bit of a thing to go to the pantomime at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh for the second last performance, the Sunday matinee, of its run. Normally, I don't bother booking until a couple of weeks before and end up with some awful seats in the gods that give poor Bob vertigo.
Last year, I decided I was going to book some decent seats in the stalls, so as soon as they went on general sale in February, I took the first row I could get three seats together in, which was Row C. So I assumed we'd be in the third row. Actually, no.We were in the very front row, right at the end, right next to where quite a bit of the action happens.
It was great to be so close - although I got to see up Allan Stewart's skirt a bit too often. The lady sitting next to us was at her third performance - she had two grandchildren dancing in the show.One of our reasons for choosing a performance on the last day was that by that time the cast are relaxing and having fun. She told us that the last evening performance has to stick rigidly to the script, so all the japing would be concentrated in this show.
Anna has a bit of a passion for ridiculous hats and she was wearing a tiger themed all-in-one hat, scarf and gloves thing. This attracted the attention of the cast and a few of them patted her on the head as they went by her on their way to the stage. Grant Stott, playing the Dolores Umbrage of villains, clad in a very pink and sparkly outfit, roared in her face at one point, simultaneously scaring the life out of her (and me) and delighting her. Grant was pretty brave himself, though, making a couple of appearances on the hoist and wire, floating way above us. Mind you, the cute little baby goose had to do the same thing at the end. Inside said cute goose was a child of maybe 10 or 11, so I was very impressed with her courage.
I'd never seen Mother Goose nor was I even familiar with the story which was actually quite good - and unusual for a pantomime. I loved how, as ever, they had fitted in very up to the minute topical references to the script - from horse burgers to HMV.
Apart from the most irritating fairy in pantomime history, it was very funny, lively show with the usual comforting panto cliches and double entendres. Tickets for next year's Peter Pan go on sale on 18th February so I'll be first in the queue to try to get the same seats again.