Neil’s a national treasure

The Kings panto cast includes  Melinda Messenger, Anita Harris, Simon Grant, Marcus Patrick, Jack Edwards and Jordan Adams, along with seven dwarfs, plus new star Hannah Lowther as Snow White 


Picture: Malcolm Wells (170922-2941)

The Kings casts its magic spell on Snow White panto cast

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Neil Innes

Aschcroft Arts Centre, Fareham

Neil Innes strolls to the microphone with a twinkle in his eye and merriment in his soul. We are in for a treat.

This maestro of mirth - ‘I’ve never done a slick show in my life’ - delivers a sardonic slapdash that draws on a lifetime of observing the human condition in an idiosyncratic and endearing way.

He juggles the language with aplomb - how can you but marvel at lyrics like: ‘At the Ambassador’s Reception, I had to get away, So I hid behind a pyramid of Ferrero Roche.’?

He makes us laugh and he also makes us think as he considers the angst of life, from becoming an elderly ‘concession’ through the streets of downtown LA to the significance of the words ‘God is ‘love’ scrawled on a lavatory wall. He wears a giant duck on his head, he impersonates stars from Max Wall to Beyonce and, despite the occasional dark themes to his humour, he makes us feel good about ourselves.

By the time we’re clapping, singing and blowing raspberries in unison as we await the tub-thumping encore that is I’m the Urban Spaceman, this Bonzo bard has reminded us once more of his undoubted status as a national treasure.