Review: Prion King

Prion King
Image credit: Ali Abdaal

Though panto season is technically over, there’s still time to get one more healthy dose of “He’s behind you!”.

There is almost no reason to go to that dark and shadowy place otherwise known as Anglia Ruskin but the yearly Medic Panto is a good one. The panto is a great, if the only, opportunity to spy a glimpse of the talent lurking in the Clinical School of Medicine. Their all singing, all-dancing cast certainly know how to put on a show with strong vocals and great dancing all supported by a well-conducted orchestra. And to top it – it’s all for two great causes: Médecins Sans Frontières and The Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust.

Prion King is the Lion King story we know and love with a medical twist: Simbastatin is the son of the Clinical Dean, Liona Wood. He’s just started 4th year medicine at Savannahbrookes but is struggling to put his medical training into practice. Meanwhile, his evil uncle Scarcoma schemes with a team of political villains to get control of the hospital. When Scar’s plans almost come together, it’s up to Simbastatin to regain control of the hospital and save the Clinical School.

The lead roles were superbly cast: Aurelien Gueroult playing Dr Rafkinase (Rafiki) was an absolute hoot while Will Flinn as Scarcoma was a perfectly evil villain complete with witty one-liners and a very strong stage presence. Their performances as well as those of Hayley Johnson in the lead as Simbastatin and Kamogelo Thutuetsile as Nalaxone were incredibly professional. Even the minor roles, like Alex Harris as David Attenborough, were played with superb dedication and energy. It was clear that the actors had fully invested in their characters and were going the extra mile to really put on a show. It was terrific to see.

Special mention must go to the costuming and make up department whose work recreating the Lion King characters was nothing short of spectacular. The plumage of Zazuzan was especially well done and even the smaller touches like the red bottom on baboon Dr Rafkinase were very well done. The set was also very creative and featured lots of puns (Costa Covfefe anyone?).

The cast were supported by a very clever, witty and funny script featuring balancing lots of inside jokes with a large amount that could be understood by any audience. Writing as a non-medic, not studying medicine or a related degree should definitely not stop you from going to see this great panto.

It would not be a panto without some musical numbers and on this the production certainly delivered from Scarcoma’s rendition of ‘You Won’t Survive’ to the tune of Gloria Gaynor’s hit to ‘Skin Doctors’ to the tune of Ghostbusters along with many other cleverly reworded smash hits.

Testament to the good job the team have done with publicising the show, the run has sold out however if you’re very lucky you may be able to snap up a return. Your efforts will not be in vain - this panto is all round good fun and very entertaining. Long Live the Prion King!

The (student) doctors will see you at the Mumford Theatre, Thu 25 – Sat 27 7.30pm

10/10

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