Never seen a pantomime? Unsure of what to expect, or wary of awkward cues seeking audience participation? Never fear: this high-energy production from the UWA Pantomime Society will soon see you shed your panto virginity, and have you calling out to the cast in no time.

Amidst preparations for the Monstorcity school prom, a string of murders occur – which leads a broad cohort of town monsters to go on the hunt for the serial killer. The diverse range of distinct characters, accentuated by the strong costuming and makeup, was amplified by some all-round quality acting.

Either it is an exceptional cast, or the flexibility of the pantomime genre allowed the cast to adapt to their characters perfectly. The actors’ lack of reverence rapidly established, perhaps not overly deep, but nevertheless strong and engaging characters. In true pantomime style, they engaged with the audience’s commentary and input, most able to think quickly on their feet and adapt. Of particular note, Harvey Wolfman (Cam Butler) and Dracula (Jack Dawson) acted superbly and indulged the audience’s running jokes.

Aside from the sometimes clever, sometimes painful jokes, the script was plastered with contemporary references and complemented by well selected music. References were cinematic, political, and cultural and the production even included references to their preview clip on the Facebook event. This element gave the production a truly unique flavour.

Combining the interactive nature of a pantomime, the actors’ adaptability and the unique and contemporary script, Friday the 14th felt like it was just as much about the audience as it was the cast.

Although some were dissatisfied with the resolution and final scenes, such gripes were outweighed by the impressive entertainment value of the entire performance. Friday the 14th is not a show to watch, but rather to be part of. Being both a highly enjoyable and amusing two hour experience, this panto is not to be missed. Head on down to the Dolphin Theatre, and be sure to take your wittiest friends.

Review by Samantha Goerling 

 

Friday the 14th is playing tonight and tomorrow night at the Dolphin Theatre, UWA. Doors open at 7pm.