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Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - REVIEWS -

Berwick Kaler, Bri­tain’s long­est serv­ing panto dame and over three and a half decades he has as­sem­bled a loyal cast who come back to the city each year.

How­ever, parts in the West End pro­duc­tion of Matilda and a new ver­sion of Chicago meant York had to go in search of a new bad­die. Leonard’s re­place­ment did a pretty fine job, but a York The­atre Royal panto with­out him was a bit like fish with­out chips, ap­ple pie with­out cream.

Thank­fully, the plan­ets and Leonard’s di­ary aligned and he’s back where he be­longs this Christ­mas, along­side other panto reg­u­lars Martin Bar­rass and Suzy Cooper.

Kaler also writes and di­rects and his years of ex­pe­ri­ence show in the care­fully or­ches­trated may­hem.

There is the usual cameo ap­pear­ance by Look North’s Harry Gra­tion, AJ Pow­ell is as won­der­fully camp as ever – this year as the for­got­ten King of the Fairies – and the song and dance num­bers are per­fectly chore­ographed.

Like a fine wine, York The­atre Royal’s panto gets bet­ter with age and this is a vin­tage year.

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