What do you get when you combine a porky pig destined for a sparkling Hollywood career, a prince masquerading as a woodcutter, an idiot hotelier whose name is an endless source of gags, and a mysterious count who appears to have a hidden agenda?

A recipe for disaster, that’s what – and it’s time to ask the magical spirit (Dawnita Smith) to summon Granny Fanny back from her hiking holiday in the Alps and help save your beloved woods.

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In the 10th anniversary of Greenwich panto that’s exactly what Little Red Riding Hood does – in a spectacular show, which writer-director Andrew Pollard brings up-to-date with toe tapping chart tunes, and a sprinkling of politics.

The plot revolves around the appearence of the evil, environmental villain Count Fracula (an excellent performance by Anthony Spargo), who wants to destroy Granny Fanny’s woods to drill for shale gas.

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No fracking way: (Left-right) Martin Johnston as Herr Brush, Alex Spinney as Prince Arden & Anthony Spargo as Count Dracula.

As if fracking isn’t scary enough, the cast are also persued by a gang of werewolves, but luckily Scarlett’s Hoodies are on hand to guide her along her merry way.


When I saw the panto, I was joined by an entire primary school, with delighted kids, staff and parents – who were kept more than entertained by their "3D experience" and a fantastic soundtrack, which kicks off with lederhosen-clad pensioner Herr Brush marching around singing a roaring rendition of "I've got bills".

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Piggy Smalls, one of the three little pigs.

Piggy Smalls (played by Alim Jayda) and Herr Brush (Martin Johnston) steal the show, with their constant stream of gags and jigs.

Meanwhile Dame Granny Fanny (Andrew Pollard) is a towering - literally, in six-inch heels - picture of glamour and outrageous feminine charm.

Just make sure she doesn't have too much grape juice (or is that wine?) or all hell will break loose.

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At times the panto is all about Pollard, but rightly so as his script is incredibly inventive and stuffed full of jokes - some of which made me laugh out loud, others which did make me cringe.

Kirsty Marie Ayers as Scarlett or Red Riding Hood is utterly adorable but also a feisty, independent heroine - all wrapped in a lovely red cape.

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I would definitely recommend giving Greenwich panto a go, especially if you're tired of the typical celebrity charade.

The only people left disappointed will be those expecting to be showered with sweets – Greenwich gives the audience a different type of shower, so expect to get wet if you’re sitting near the front.

But never fear, as Granny Fanny will be on hand with her handy loo roll gun to dry you all off afterwards!

Red Riding Hood runs until Sunday, January 10. Tickets cost £29. Kids' tickets are half price and concessions £20. 

Visit greenwichtheatre.org.uk or call the Box Office on 0208 858 7755.