If you only come and see this play to witness the varied wardrobe changes of Pat Larkin, then it would be twenty dollars well spent. There aren’t often many live shows that are well-suited for children, but Hickory Dickory Dock a Panto written by Norman Robbins is the perfect play for all ages. And it’s playing for one weekend only at The Mt. Tabor Playhouse. There are now only three performances remaining; Friday night at 7pm, and Saturday & Sunday at 3pm.
Directed by Kyle Watson and Lori Farrington, this ridiculously hilarious production takes the audience on an interactive journey beyond our world. Filled with wildly cheesy puns, an eclectic mix of classic rock, retro pop and familiar folk songs, the ensemble cast do an excellent job of filling each moment with comedic treasures. The set design and lighting effects are colourful, excellently constructed. The centre-piece of the entire play is a masterfully engineered clock. Without spoiling the special treasures sprinkled throughout, there are special cameos that make random and unexpected appearances.
Pat Larkin and Kyle Watson are unsurprisingly fantastic, their gift of character acting has graced many stages and they have impeccable timing and comedic instincts. Both men deliver equally strong performances, and each time Pat comes out on stage with a new dress you can’t help but chuckle. His legs are rather scene stealing and his costumes are as much of a character as he is. Sage Noxon as one of the leads, opposite the engaging Duncan Smith, gave a spectacular performance. Her ingenue-like performance was soon shattered with her confidant first solo of the night. Lori Farrington left a strong impression as she made her abrupt appearance in a rather colourful costume and wig. And Adam McGowan was genius as the dimwitted, candy loving son of the Hickory’s.
But the breakout performances of the
night were by mother-daughter duo Robin and Blythe Everhardus. Their bumbling and tumbling slapstick comedy was the stuff of legends coupled with a surprisingly touching moment. And Cheryl Singer exudes a Cloris Leachman like quality in her character acting that is both entertaining and awe-inspiring.
Music by the Clockman Turner Overdrive, featuring local county musicians Annelise Noronha, Jeremy Kelly, Sam Hirst, Steve Mee and Craig McMillan was excellent accompaniment. Likely the best part of the evening was when Annelise led the crowd in a rousing but side-splitting rendition of Baby Shark, but I’ve said too much.
The entire play was filled small but obvious moments that are completely off-side and absolutely rib-tickling. The one-liners, especially the ones delivered by the younger cast, are equally humorous. The jokes sprinkled throughout are relevant to today, some are inside jokes only a County local would catch, and the rest are simply well placed genius. Over all this ridiculous, fun-filled, heartwarming play is worth every penny.
Tickets are available through Books & Company, Rossmore Stop, and The General. This season with the Marysburgh Mummers is becoming a beloved Christmas Tradition, and a lot of the proceeds from ticket sales support local community theatre, preserve the wonderful building that is Mt. Tabor and help to support future arts programs for youth such as the Marysburgh Mummers Summer camp and the Prince Edward Learning Centre.
Make plans to attend this well produced show. Bring the family. You won’t regret it.