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We have come to expect a nicely written pantomime from Gavyn Lugsden, and this was certainly up to expectations.  There were plenty of chances to boo and cheer which the younger audience members love, plus a few more grown-up one liners to appeal to the adults in the audience!  I especially liked the Furniture Syndrome joke!

The backing tracks worked well in the main, however I felt that certain numbers were a little beyond the capabilities of the cast, as they were difficult to sing - e.g. Act 1 finale, and Fever.  However, I liked the fact that all the musical numbers were kept fairly short and snappy.

The Fairy and Dick’s duet was very nicely sung, with good lighting and nice harmonies.

I thought the costumes were excellent – very colourful, and they looked fresh and smart.  I especially loved the Dame’s opening costume, and also her naval dress, both were crisp, fresh and imaginative.  Well done to Carole Pollard.

Lighting was very good – I loved all the effects as we walked into the hall, but felt that perhaps the lighting projected onto the ceiling and walls was lost on the majority of the audience.   

Sound was good throughout, we heard every word.

The scenery although minimalistic, worked well and gave a flavour of the scenes, and meant that scene changes were quick so we had no unnecessary blackouts – good to see.  I very much liked the Sultana’s palace blocks, very imaginative.

I thought that the production was well cast.  Ethan Perry gave us a very bouncy Cat, with lots of expression, whilst maintaining the cat-like characteristics – well done.  The fight scene was nicely choreographed, and worked really well.

Elle Laird created a nicely evil Queen Rat, in another lovely costume – she swept round the stage with great aplomb, whilst maintaining her wickedness.  Elle delivered her lines well.

Holly Potton was a charming Alice Fitzwarren, and I enjoyed her song with Dick.

Dick Whittington was played by Laura Edwards, who got good rapport between herself and the Cat, and also with Alice.  An accomplished performance.

Fairy Bow Bells (Louise Chapman) was a fun fairy, but also showed us a very strong singing voice, which I enjoyed listening to.  

Henry Dorrance created a full-on Weasel, and was very amusing.

Malcolm Calloway was the Dame, looking beautiful in his costumes and wigs, which all worked exceedingly well.  I felt he needed just a little more purpose in his delivery and actions, as a contrast to the other members of the cast.  But that said he made a good character, and I liked his interaction with the audience.

Alderman Fitzwarren as played by Peter Hossack was very laid back and sometimes a little difficult to hear, I would have liked more emphasis in his characterisation.

Charlotte Meredith only had a small part as a Rat, but she has a very expressive face that really brought life into the role.  

Carole Pollard looked lovely in her turquoise costume as the Sultana, and achieved a very regal character.

It was good to see the children too – they all performed very well, and I loved Jamie Potton’s Rat with the ‘cheese’!!

A most enjoyable production, with lots of chances for the audience to participate.

Curtain Call Theatre Group with Edlesbray Players


Written & Director: Gavyn Lugsden

review date: 31st Jan 2016

Village Hall, Eaton Bray


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