Tag Archives: Charlotte Brooke

A Pissedmas Carol


Leicester Square Theatre

A PISSEDMAS CAROL at Leicester Square Theatre


“a rollicking good time”

There’s nothing better to get you in the Christmas mood than a smashed Ebenezer Scrooge slurring his way through some festive pop songs while ranting about free range chicken eggs.

‘A Pissedmas Carol’ is a retelling of A Christmas Carol, stuffed full of songs, improv and panto style gags. On top of that, each night one of the actors is riotously drunk. Cue hilarious and chaotic fun, in a very merry way. There are even mince pies at the bar!

This show is a rollicking good time. Rather than its non-holiday themed Shakespearean counterparts, this production allows more space for all of the actors to have a laugh. The energy doesn’t drop when the drunk actor is off stage, because there’s scripted and improvised silliness to be had by all.

James Murfitt and Lewis Ironside’s adaptation of the Dickens classic keeps some of the original text, some iconic lines (possibly more if all of the actors were sober) but injects some ridiculous fun into it. The key moments are there, but the play never stops for long enough to get too bogged down in the plot or characters. Katy Baker’s directing, as well as strong improvising from the cast, keep the energy soaring throughout.

There are a cast of eight, with ten in the troupe, so the rotating roles, and rotating drunkenness, can be shared around. The whole cast were really strong, all having their own moments to shine. Hal Hillman and Katy Baker are charming and hilarious as the Cratchits, James Murfitt is an excellent MC, Daniel Quirke is a bit of a scene stealer as the Ghost of Christmas present, and Izzy Wroe Wright proves to have an incredible set of pipes as she belts out some classic Christmas bops. John Mitton as Scrooge was hilarious, and very drunk.

Having Charlotte Brooke as an on-stage pianist brings the whole performance together, making it feel like a cohesive musical, and I think is a big reason the energy stays so high. Nicola Jones’ set is playful and crucially safe for drunk actors. Jess Davies’ lighting also plays with the gothic drama, but in a camp, fun way.

The show is a laugh, and highly worth a visit. It’s short and sweet and it’s great to see that the actors are having as much fun as the audience.

A PISSEDMAS CAROL at Leicester Square Theatre

Reviewed on 30th November 2023

by Auriol Reddaway

Photography by Rah Petherbridge (from previous production)


Previously reviewed at this venue:

The Ayes Have It! The Ayes Have It! | ★★★★ | November 2023
Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare®: Much Ado About Nothing | ★★★★★ | July 2023
Shit-Faced Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet | ★★★★ | July 2022
A Pissedmas Carol | ★★★★★ | December 2021
Sh!t-Faced Macbeth | ★★★★★ | July 2021

A Pissedmas Carol

A Pissedmas Carol

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Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast


Watford Palace Theatre

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at the Watford Palace Theatre


Beauty and the Beast


“a marvellous show, and a wonderful way to spend an evening!”


Watford’s fantastically festive and chaotically camp pantomime is a Christmas extravaganza!

The first thing to note, which I don’t tend to mention in reviews, but I think is noteworthy on this occasion, is that every single member of staff at Watford Palace Theatre is delightful. From the box office team welcoming me into the building, to the usher who walked me right to my seat, to the hard-working bar staff dealing with a busy interval with smiles on their faces. There was a lovely air of excitement throughout the theatre, and it really added to the pleasant festive atmosphere.

The story (Andrew Pollard) is a unique twist on the traditional tale as old as time. It is set at the Rose Rouge, the finest theatre in Paris, but an up and coming singer falls foul of a dastardly magician’s devilish plot, and only true love can save him!

The riotous script was everything you want from a pantomime. It was a perfect mix of groan-worthy, predictable panto jokes alongside some genuinely hilarious, unexpected moments, with a hefty dose of slapstick, toilet humour and double entendres that go straight over children’s heads, but had the adults roaring with laughter.

The hand painted set (designed by Cleo Pettitt) was impressive, and the lighting (Jamie Platt) gave it some extra razzle dazzle, which added to the spectacle. The lighting throughout was superb – great effects, clever mood lighting, and I always appreciate a good glitter ball!

The costumes (Watford Palace Theatre, Li-Lee Choo and Sarah Ninot) were fabulous, especially Dame Sarah Sew-n-Sew, whose outrageously over the top dresses were a highlight for me. And villain Deja Vu, who, in his sparkly purple number, looked like a mixture of Dick Dastardly and Julian Clary. The performance by Jonathan D Ellis certainly lived up to the camp costume! Energetically playing up to the booing and hissing and “oh no you don’ts” from the audience, Ellis’s performance was excellent from start to finish.

Dame Sarah Sew-n-Sew, played by Terence Frisch in his tenth year as the dame at Watford Palace, was very, very funny. His impeccable comic timing, knowing winks to the audience, and witty improvised moments demonstrated his natural comic ability, complimented by his ten year experience of damehood.

Beauty and the Beast’s only notable downside was the lack of big chorus numbers. The show was a tremendous spectacle, but the song choices let it down a little, especially as all the performers had great singing voices, so it would have been nice to hear them sing together more often. With a cast of only seven people, it was a little bit lacking in “wow” goosebump moments during the songs. There were group numbers at the start of the second act and the finale which were fantastic, though I do think the performers’ beautiful voices could have been put to more use as a group. That said, the band (made up of Ellie Verkerk, Robin Johnson and Red Fielder-Van Kleeff) were absolutely spot on – from transition music at scene changes, to well-timed drum beats at particularly cheesy jokes. And there were some really lovely songs, a gorgeous duet between Belle (Amiyah Goodall) and Beast (Ben Boskovic) was particularly memorable. They both have stunning voices that compliment each other well.

Overall, this was a marvellous show, and a wonderful way to spend an evening!


Reviewed on 11th December 2022

by Suzanne Curley

Photography by Greta Zabulyte


More top rated shows this month:


Ghosted – Another F**king Christmas Carol | ★★★★★ | The Other Palace | December 2022
Orlando | ★★★★ | Garrick Theatre | December 2022
Bugsy Malone | ★★★★★ | Alexandra Palace | December 2022


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