The Skullduggery Theatre company have put a new twist on the melodrama, for those, as they describe, who have a short attention span. Golden Prospects, currently playing at C Venues until the end of the month is a luscious frolic in the genre.
At the start, the Barker invites the audience to boo, hiss or cheer as they see fit - and they willingly oblige. The plot is larger than life, as you'd expect. The Goodman family have gone west to seek their fortune, but father Carl Goodman is duped out of all his savings by the evil Chauncey Fairfax (boo, hiss!). Carl promptly drops dead at the thought his family will be destitute, which of course they now are, which forces his widow Laura to give away one of their fraternal twin children to the orphanage.
Of course you know from the beginning that good will win out over evil, and the hero will get his girl. The characters and their roles are clearly defined and well played by a excellent team of actors.
Paul Hampton as Axel Goodman captures the plucky spirit of our hero, and Laura Freeman as his sister Lucy excels in her role as the chaste virgin who considers prostitution as a viable career choice. Their mother, Laura Goodman, is hilariously drawn by Helena Tuckett and is a joy to watch.
Director Ryan Weir has hit just the right note with Colin Campbell's delightfully funny script. This is panto, set in the Wild West of Hollywood.