Samba-style panto is perfect for January

With an ‘arr’, an ‘ahoy’, and perhaps a ‘shiver me timbers’, delivered in a West Country burr, it’s not so hard to bring the pirate world to the stage, is it me laddies?, writes Stewart Carr.

But with Leighton BuzzardDrama Group’s boundless enthusiasm you can expect the full Carmen Miranda treatment in its brilliant New Year’s pantomime, Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates.

Being a grown-up, I don’t think I’ve laughed as much watching panto in a long while. And I think it may have something to do with its zany array of characters.

It might not be a fairytale as such, but with brave hero Robinson, fair damsel Juanita and wicked villain, the pirate CutThroat, it’s got all the ingredients for a magical show perfect to brighten up those January blues.

Speaking of blue, who can forget the outrageous, banana hat-wearing pantomime dame, whose name alone is worth a mention – Margarita Juicelita?

And then there’s her son Nutty Nick, whose bag of nuts everyone wants but they just can’t have. Oh no they can’t!

And opening the show is the beautiful ocean fairy Coral, a sort of Glinda the Good Witch, who steers the heroes away from the watery depths of the sea when things get really bad.

My favourite was the comedy duo, Skullduggery and Crossbones, two bungling female pirates as dopey as they are mean.

Like true stooges, they are duped into serving the wicked Cut Throat who promises to pay them five times as much they are currently earning.

“We’re gonna be rich!” they shriek, not realising that five times nothing is precisely... never mind.

With its quick one-liners, samba dancing, and gorgeous costumes and set, it’s a fun-filled night for all the family.

> There’s still time to catch the show. It’s on this Thursday and Friday at 7.15pm, and Saturday at 11am, 2.30pm and 6pm. Book your tickets online at or by calling 0300 300 8125.