Sinbad is the New Wolsey Theatre’s latest attempt at merging music with pantomime action, and going on the lacklustre performances from previous years, Sinbad is a lot better and returns to what makes these rock n roll panto’s so entertaining.
If you go to the show wanting to sing and jive along to the music, there’s a lot of songs that you’ll recognise, with music ranging from the hard rock of Bon Jovi to the smooth sensations of Fleetwood Mac. There’s also services available for the hard of hearing, which means nobody is left out of the action and everyone can enjoy the play.
As ever with a New Wolsey Theatre production, costumes and set design are excellent, with every little detail well thought out. For such a small stage, the New Wolsey often leave this reviewer in amazement with just how effectively they use every inch of space to their advantage.
But the costumes, set design and blending of music and story seems to have actually come at a cost to the story, which, at times, can feel a bit loose. Certain parts of the play, especially towards the end of the first half and near the middle, seemed more lost than the characters, with no real plot development, nor a reason to watch.
It was at points like these where Sinbad seemed to drift off into an ocean of doubt, leaving the audience to wonder whether or not the characters or, indeed, the scriptwriters, knew what they were doing. It was almost like the play was literally the shipwreck it was trying so hard to portray. If the latter part of the first half seemed a bit of a let down, fortunately, the intermission gave way to a much better second half, treating the audience to a villain reinvented.
Throughout the play, the jokes were aplenty, if sometimes a bit on the cheesy side, and occasionally there were mishaps and mistakes – to be expected, of course. If this production of Sinbad was on the West End, these mishaps would almost certainly be a deal-breaker, but here, at the New Wolsey Theatre, you can’t help but feel that small mistakes add to the overall humour of the show, with actors failing to contain their laughter at the dame’s gags – hilarious!
There’s no other show on Earth that blends pantomime with rock and roll hits in such good fashion. Many plays can try to copy the idea, but they’ll never quite pull it off like the New Wolsey Theatre. It seems the New Wolsey’s unique blend of music, jokes and pantomime is a winning formula, and hopefully, is here to stay.