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culture: And, who's been putting me in the festive spirit?

Byline: Emily Taylor

Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Customs House, South Shields, until January 4 NOTHING kicks off Christmas quite like pantomime and this seasonal offering was just what I needed to put me in the festive spirit.

Bearing little resemblance to the traditional tale, Dame Dotty and her son Tommy are struggling to revive a flagging circus until their adopted Goldilocks comes across three talented bears. But the evil Baron has other plans for the cuddly crowd-pullers.

Tyne Tees boss Graeme Thompson has teamed up with Customs House boss and panto favourite Ray Spencer for a second time for script writing duties, packing in plenty of fun and frolics, with topical gags and music, outrageous costumes and a wonderful set to boot.

Ray also forms one half of another double act - that is perhaps better known in these parts - with Bob Stott. The much-loved duo have been delighting audiences for more than 30 years with their riotous and ridiculous routine and are still on top form as the disgraceful Dame Dotty and her dippy son Tommy.

Peter Darrant is fast becoming a bit of a legend himself as the regular panto villain. At his finest as the leather-clad Baron Bratwurst, the dashing rogue had the kids quaking behind their popcorn.

David Ducasse makes a welcome return as the arrogant but smooth-talking ringmaster and Graham Overton ever as the flaky, not s As well as the family impressive Customs H Suzanne Richardson a who wowed the crowd voice. Newcomer Lucy delightful Goldilocks.

Skipping panto seas way to save money this great value and well worth the trip out.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2008
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