The stage is awash with characters including a juggling barman, a queen and Ireland’s pop-sensation Sinnead who has everyone singing along. House band Donal and the Drainpipes
Pony Panto doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet it’s never slapdash. The Ponies throw themselves at routines with gusto and talent. The glum and apathetic mixed cheerleading squad are all the more funny with their sullen faces and lacklustre delivery of the routine. Finn’s ability to effortlessly shimmy high up a pole to scatter glitter over the acts below is only bettered by his breath-taking descents.
There’s attention to detail: the regal powder blue dress could well feature at 3pm on Christmas Day. The merchandise on sale afterwards was popular and captures the spirit of the
The show finishes with a number that lifts the audience up onto their feet even if it’ll take a Stewards Enquiry to decide whether the man in the second row managed to string together the right moves in the right order.
Going by its reputation, I expected I might raise an eyebrow at the content. Instead I found Pony Panto to be light and full of laughs, music, dance and a smattering of not too anxious audience participation. It’s obvious that the performers are enjoying the raucous show.
Pony Panto is new Belfast letting its hair down and having a good time. The challenge for the tracksuited Ponies will be to keep it niche and not go too mainstream.
If you gee up and race to the (online) box office before the remaining tickets sell out, you can catch Pony Panto at the MAC until 19 December.