Snow White starring Julian Clary, Dawn French & Charlie Stemp at the Palladium
It’s become a fixture on our family Christmas must-do list since it began in 2016.
Can 2018’s show match the seasonal sparkle and ambition of previous shows? Oh yes it can!
For children there is ventriloquist Paul Zerdin (an ever-present since 2016) and he continues to merit his casting not least for interacting with youngsters brought on stage near the show’s close to attempt a tricksy tongue twister.
For mums there is also the returning comic foil and Chancer Nigel Havers who continues to be the butt of many jokes as The Understudy while high-kicking Charlie Stemp (soon to star in the West End in Mary Poppins) is a dashing Prince Harry of Hampstead.
For dads Dawn French is a comic hit as baddie Queen Dragonella and Over The Rainbow winner Danielle Hope sings up a storm as our titular heroine.
For everyone else there is Gary Wilmot in drag with an apt song celebrating the Palladium stars of yesteryear as well as 1 about the importance of parenting and Strictly’s Vincent and Flavia who enchant with dance.
We’ve said it before and will say it again but Julian Clary (this year as the Man In The Mirror) is, despite serious competition, undoubtedly the show’s star.
His archetypal saucy badinage finds a natural home in pantomime and there’s so much fun had here making phrases like a ‘spritzer in the snug at the Admiral Duncan’ sound far more risqué than they are when written.
The words no expense spared seem to have been coined for his many costume changes which regularly wow.
So there’s much that will be familiar to the regular visitor here but the Palladium’s spectacle outdoes itself with a blizzard of ticker tape, a magical sleigh ride and the scariest monster effect we think we’ve ever seen in the theatre.
Still a magical, laughter-fuelled Christmas feast for all the family to enjoy.
Christmas 2017 - Dick Whittington
Julian Clary pulls it off again in a smutty corker of a panto
Dick Whittington, London Palladium, review
The Telegraph - by Claire Allfree - 14th December 2017
A show called Dick Whittington starring Julian Clary? I think we can all guess what sort of comic mileage Clary might make out of that, and so it proves in the Palladium’s gloriously funny, not very family-friendly follow-up to last year’s Cinderella.
It contains more dick jokes than you can shake a cat at, and Clary once again reigns utterly supreme with a parade of exquisitely outlandish outfits and extremely smutty gags.
Children may find themselves a bit short-changed, but with Clary – affecting throughout a lofty air of weary disdain – in full control, their parents certainly won’t.
‘Julian Clary is pantomime gold’
Dick Whittington review at the London Palladium
The Stage - by Paul Vale - December 14th 2017
The star of this gig, though, is Julian Clary. Playing the Spirit of The Bells, Clary is sheer pantomime gold, coasting through the plot with feigned indifference and his legendary, lethal and camp delivery. Clary has all the best gags and his sparring with Paige’s eye-rolling Queen is one of the highlights of a show that is packed with laughs.
Julian Clary has never had a better context for his smooth-talking smut than in this generous, ridiculous, big-budget spectacular.
Theatre review: Dick Whittington at the London Palladium, W1
The Times - Dominic Maxwell - December 15th 2017
Do they give knighthoods for services to family-friendly filth? Based on Julian Clary’s performance in this second annual London Palladium panto, they surely should. He’s a total joy.
And he has never had a better context for his smooth-talking smut than in this generous, ridiculous, big-budget spectacular.
It’s Clary’s night, you see. Playing the Spirit of the Bells, he looks at home in a succession of inexplicably but gorgeously spangly outfits. He adds quips and rudery of his own to Alan McHugh’s script, talk-sings his way through various tunes, turns this all into a parody of itself without ever being merely snide. Parents note too that most of his eye-wateringly camp quips will sail over the heads of young children as surely as the double-decker bus that Stemp flies over the stalls.
Christmas 2016 - Cinderella
Julian Clary unleashes a tsunami of smut
Cinderella review at the London Palladium
The Guardian - Michael Billington - December 15th 2016
With Paul O’Grady and Julian Clary in the leads, pantomime pitches camp at the Palladium for the first time since 1987. You might say it overpitches it since this is, without doubt, the filthiest panto I’ve ever seen. It’s less a show for all the family than for highly sophisticated grownups.
Clary sets the tone as a Dandini who declares himself the prince’s right-hand man and who appears in more startling creations than you will find in the book of Genesis. He also dispenses a series of double-entendres with feline grace. Some are genuinely funny. “Did you find the gypsies’ camp?” he is asked. “One or two of them, yes,” he suavely replies.
Many, however, are just outrageous, as when he recalls his circus days as a human cannonball: “I used to shoot over the ringmaster’s back.”
Cinderella review at the London Palladium
The Stage - by Paul Vale - December 15th 2016
In an array of increasingly outrageous, feather-trimmed costumes, [Julian Clary] commands practically every scene, constantly breaking the fourth wall and consistently raising the roof with desperately near-the-knuckle innuendo. Usually comically aloof, he is also game for a laugh, taking to the skies in a flying Vespa or joining in the familiar chaos of the ubiquitous pantomime song.