Review: Red Riding Hood, New Wolsey

The opening of a new run of the Wolsey Rock’n’roll Panto means only one thing… Christmas is just around the corner, and this year’s production of a brand new pantomime, Red Riding Hood certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Red Riding Hood owns the best bakery in Soggy-Bottom-In-The-Marsh but when the village party is scattered by the return of the legendary lone Wolf, the wicked Sir Jasper de Ville demands more rent to pay for the added security. So it’s all hands to the pudding bowl as everyone lends a hand at the bakers, even her grandmother, Dame Millicent Merry, famous for her firm buns and magnificent dumplings! Meanwhile, a handsome woodcutter has arrived in town, who isn’t all he seems to be… Can Red Riding Hood outwit Sir Jasper, avoid the clutches of the sly old wolf and find romance with the mysterious forester?

Performed by a very talented cast of actor musicians, Red Riding Hood had the audience enthralled from the start. With a puff of smoke fairy Cherry Blossom (Elizabeth Rowe) appeared to lead us through the story of this brand new production and from the start of the opening number we knew we were in for a treat.

And we were…! A fabulous script by the talented Peter Rowe was brought to life by a brilliant cast, with vocal numbers that really raised the roof.

Rob Falconer as baddie Sir Jasper has the perfect voice for some of the more rockier numbers, whilst Lucy Wells’ (who returns for another Rock’n’roll panto this time as Red Riding Hood) version of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep was outstanding.

In fact all the vocal performances in this production are faultless, however a special mention must go to James Haggie, who’s version of Take That’s Shine would give Gary Barlow a run for his money – outstanding!

Of course every panto has it’s dame and enter stage left… Grandma Millicent Merry! Simon Nock plays this dame well, with some very funny, and sometimes near-the-knuckle jokes that fortunately went over the heads of the younger audience members. Here we must also mention audience member Wayne who was Dame Merry’s ‘victim’ for the evening!

This show has everything you’d expect from a Wolsey Rock ‘n’ Roll panto, a risqué dame, a handsome prince, a gorgeous heroine and of cause an evil villain to boo and hiss at. But this show packs in so much more with some amazingly brilliant vocal performances and a very clever storyline twist that keeps you guessing right until the end.

Red Riding Hood is certainly one pantomine that should be on everybody’s list this Christmas.

• Red Riding Hood – The New Rock’n’roll Panto will be at the New Wolsey Theatre from Thursday 23rd November 2017 until Saturday 27th January 2018. Tickets are on sale now and can be booked through the Tickets Sales Team by calling 01473 295900 or by booking online at

Review: Wendy Cook – Ipswich24
Pictures: Mike Kwasniak