Goldilock, Stock & Three Smoking Bears

If you ever wondered what a fantastically dark comedy musical mash-up of the traditional tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the classic 1998 film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels would be like, then look no further. The four actors from The Wardrobe Theatre take on a fast-paced crazy story, playing all of the huge range of characters that make this piece come alive, and it buzzes with energy from beginning to end.

This is a bundle of delight from start to finish with some fantastic physical comedy with all four talented actors bringing everything to this production

At the beginning we meet Goldilock, who has a market stall in London and is unsuccessful at selling, for example, broken plastic buttons. There is some plot confusion at the very start while we are introduced to all the different characters, by way of some incredibly quick and effective costume changes - not unlike the film which this show affectionately parodies to brilliant effect. All quickly becomes clear as we meet the gangster who is obsessed with chairs and his side-kick, plus Vinnie – the ex-footballer-come-unsuccessful-actor who works for them - played brilliantly by Andrew Kingston. Then we meet the gangster’s wife, some interested stereotypical Scottish people who have a porridge shop where the bears get their porridge, and of course, the bears - who are three famous bears, referred to as Rupe, Padds and Winnie. Like the film, the plot is convoluted but makes perfect sense, involving £2000 which is owed, stolen from and paid to these various different groups of characters, plus a bespoke golden chair. There is also some lovely fun made at the expense of the original Goldilocks story: why is the porridge such different temperatures when it was all made at the same time?; and Goldilock in this version decides to go and have a lie down at home because it’s “a bit less weird” than lying down in a stranger’s house.

There are some sequences here which pay such tribute to the film, it’s clear that they have really studied it, including the slow-motion sequences and the different camera angles which this film was the first to employ in mainstream cinema. The slow motion scenes are used brilliantly: for example, the party with the three bears, which uses almost picture stills in between action. Most excitingly, the card playing scene is absolutely superb. Before seeing this show, it would have been hard to imagine how the overhead camera angles and close-up shots that were used in the film to show the various card hands being held could have been effectively shown on stage. They nail it.

This is a bundle of delight from start to finish with some fantastic physical comedy and all four talented actors bringing everything to this production: an original piece devised by the theatre company. Harry Humberstone perhaps steals it with his dual performances of deliciously spaced out bear Winnie (the fact that the actor himself is so slim adds to the humour of portraying the normally rotund bear) and his performance of the lead chair-obsessed Gangster. There are stereotypes in this production, but the stereotypes work to excellent effect. And the golden chair gives the audience, like the film, a brilliant cliff-hanger ending. An absolutely gold plated show, a must see.

Reviews by Susanne Crosby

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The Blurb

The silver-tongued Goldilock can see that her days of selling moody goods on the cobbled streets of East End London are numbered. But when circumstances leave her on the run from a pack of bears and badly indebted to a notorious gangster, will our young heroine be able to raise the needed ‘bees and honey’ in time and avoid doing porridge? An original alternative comedy - an ill-fated fusion of the classic fairytale with 1998’s cult cockney caper to create something new, exciting, smart and very, very funny. "Clever, silly and uproarious!" **** (Reviews Hub)