A Spirited Good Time- Little Red Riding Hood Review
Words by Leonora Brown / Edited by Mia Stapleton
Leonora Brown reviews LUU’s performance of Little Red Riding Hood, told from a comical, satirical point of view, mimicking University life and the student experience.
LUU Pantomime Society’s ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ kicks off with a performance of Katy Perry’s ‘Last Friday Night.’ Instead, it’s a ‘Fruity’ night, of course. Referencing Leeds’ most loved Friday night club fixture, hidden in the depths of the Student Union. Instead of skinny dipping in the dark, we are skinny dipping in ‘Hyde Park,’ as an eye catching animation of Leeds features behind the performers. Georgie (Elysce Hastie), the sister of our main protagonist, Red, begins narrating the story. Georgie is one of the standout performers from here-on, all throughout the show.
Shortly after, we are introduced to Red herself (Clara Faraday-Smith). Whilst the accompanying dancing was good, it was the singing throughout ‘6-5’ (a play on Dolly Parton’s classic country-pop anthem ‘9 to 5’) that really stood out, as the whole cast gave it their all, making way for an excellent showcase.
Crimson, Red and Georgie’s mother, was an absolute hoot! Played by Hannah Holden, Crimson makes reference to the ‘Free the Nipple’ movement, much to the audience’s agreement, and makes her way into the audience herself for frequent interactions!
In the first half Red meets Prince Charming, as Faraday-Smith gives us a moving performance of Taylor Swift’s ‘Enchanted.’ Accompanied by a talented, angelic, and free-flowing ballet performance (with dancers Katherine Charlton, Viola Huf, Annabel Moody, Katie Quinn-Yumsak, and Caroline Rauch), as the band compliments and gives a fantastic backing track to accompany her voice.
Act One closes out with a fun rendition of Pat Benatar’s ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot,’ as song that we have seen revitalised in many plays and musicals. However, the fun is not left in Act One, as after intermission, the show began with Swedish pop-sensation ABBA’s ‘Does Your Mother Know.’ Crimson heads into the audience, and befriends an audience member, named Amy, and the audience are in stitches at Holden’s natural talent for physical comedy. There are further performances of well known hits, such as the Neon Trees ‘Animal’ and ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside.’ With, of course, ever so random jokes about Bob the Builder. What’s a pantomime without a little bit of silliness? Following this, is a standout performance of Demi Lovato’s ‘Skyscraper.’
The penultimate scene commences as the Prince asks for permission to wed Red, accompanied by The Beatles ‘All You Need Is Love.’ Georgie once again narrates the closing scene. Snow White and Cinderella get together, Red gets her degree, and meets her Prince Charming, and thankfully, Blanche’s servants are paid. Little Red Riding Hood closes with Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing,’ which is always a crowd pleaser, and the audience are on their feet for an encore.
In the penultimate Scene the Prince asks for permission to wed Red. The penultimate song is the Beatle’s ‘All You Need is Love’ Gorgie once again narrates the closing scene. Snow White and Cinderella get together, Red gets her degree and meets her Prince Charming, Blanches servants are paid. The final song is Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ which is always a crowd pleaser and the audience are on their feet for an encore.
Little Red Riding Hood was performed at the Riley Smith Lecture Theatre, from 14th-16th December 2023. For future performances by the LUU Pantomime Society, please consult their Facebook page here, as well as their other social accounts here.
For further information on the LUU Backstage Society, please visit their society page here.
Words by Leonora Brown