ROCK N’ ROLL RED RIDING HOOD: City Varieties is back with annual Panto – review


A change from the traditional Christmas pantomime, Rock ’n’ Roll Pantomimesmix traditional elements of audience participation and corny gags with a jukebox full of classic rock anthems and chart-toppers – performed live on stage at City Varieties in Leeds! 

This year’s Panto at The Varieties is Red Riding Hood.

Panni Loh went along with her daughter and grandchildren to review the show….

The magic began the moment we found our seats. No other than Prince Florizel Fortunate (Ben Mabberley) and Little Miss Muffet (Laura Sillett) came to say hello to my goggle eyed grand children, and better still they agreed to a photo. Fairy Cherry Blossom  (Claire Greenway) set the scene casting her wand.  Just as it all seemed so lovely the dastardley Sir Jasper De Ville aka Lupus the Woolf (Benjamin Stratton) injected  a touch of horror and the opportunity  for the excited audience to shout a well justified warning of ‘He’s behind you!’

For the romantics Red Riding Hood (Lucy Keirl) gave some sweet renditions of I wanna dance with somebody whilst out of her sight Prince Florizel Fortunate was singing Just haven’t met you yet. Hope of true love and all things perfect seemed in sight. In contrast, full of life and amusing innuendo Grandma Millicent Merry-The Dame (Simon Nock) brought us back to the reality of flamboyant frocks, and a welcome enthusiastic dose of self appreciation despite the odds. The show was interspersed with the comic timing of Dodgit ( Lana Walker), and Bodgit (Mike Slader) who made a hilarious hare suffering many jokes.

The rock n roll element of this panto is such good fun, literally has you rocking in your seats and wanting to light the air with your cell phone or rather your rainbow light up unicorn.  The versatility of the cast was brilliant: one minute Grandma Millicent Merry the next raising the roof playing the sax. One minute the simple Dodgit next minute pop singer -can only inspire children of all ages that you can train, master different performing arts giving pleasure to others as well as yourself. Highly recommend this panto for all the family to enjoy laughing, shouting out, pull at the heart strings and being truly impressed by the musical talent, beautiful sets and lighting.


This year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Pantomime, Red Riding Hood at City Varieties Music Hall is on until Sunday 12 January 2020.

Book online at or call Box Office on 0113 243 08 08.

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