Jonny Wilkes, The King of Panto, back for Robin Hood: Review

0E63E2C1-391C-4041-93C2-D5ED5CB314E1Returning for his 13th year Jonny Wilkes is back and this year, The Regent’s Panto is Robin Hood. Without a doubt, I think we can all agree that Jonny Wilkes is the king of pantomime and is certainly up there with the most treasured things to come out of Stoke – alongside an Oatcake of course! Back again by popular demand, Christian Patterson joined us in Stoke for his 10th panto, this year taking on the role of Friar Tuck!

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Photo: Richard Johnson

The duo were back, and so were their famous one liners, natural and effortles humour and the cheekiness that we know and love from the annual Regent Theatre Panto. As normal, the production featured many of references to Stoke, the typical Stoke City vs Port Vale rivalry, oatcakes, including local towns, and of course, Jonny’s trademark phrase which has become an iconic tradition: Ey up me Ducks! Robin Hood does not disappoint, filled with laughter, quality entertainment, 3D experience and local talent courtesy of The Wilkes Academy Of Performing Arts, the audience were (as always!) on their feet crying from laughter, even 111 year old Beryl at the back loved it! (If you don’t know what I’m referring to, you really need to get yourself to the panto…)

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Photo: Richard Johnson

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a panto, and I’ve probably been to more Pantos than I’ve had hot drinks, but nothing ever comes close to the panto at the Regent Theatre. This year, we’re taken on a journey following Robin Hood on his quest, experiencing the good, the bad, and Jonny Wilkes’ timeless one liners! From start to finish the audience were involved in the production: whether that be getting on stage to kiss Robin’s elbow better, being involved in throwing around the props, singing and dancing or even just a chat with the actors, it is very clear that when the Panto is produced they are certainly thinking of making it the most enjoyable and interactive experience for the audience. Productions like the annual Regent Theatre panto are without a doubt the most memorable ones, and always leaves you looking forward to next Christmas!

As normal, the acting and set did not let down! The amount of time and care that is clearly put into the stage production and set, really does pay off. One thing that I particularly loved about Robin Hood, is the use of the 3D element. Instead of describing the enchanted forest, like the actors could have done, you’re taken on a a magical 3D journey through the forest… just watch out for those spiders! All the actors are true professionals, and you can not fault their acting or professionalism. In true panto style, when a mishap happens they are quick on their feet with to improvise in character making the laughs non stop!

After growing up watching Jonny Wilkes in pantos, it’s fair to say that every year I look forward to the Regent Theatre panto, and a big factor of that is certainly Jonny himself. Congratulations on 13 years of incredible pantos, and let’s hope the next 13 years are just as enjoyable!! Jonny, you are the king of panto, please never stop!

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Photo: Richard Johnson

Robin Hood is at The Regent Theatre until Sunday 6th January 2019, and you can get your tickets via the ATG Ticket website or by calling the box office: 0844 871 7649

*although I was invited down to Robin Hood, all opinions reman my own.

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