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I enjoyed both performances of Rapunzel, and it was good to see both junior teams in action.  

I thought Luke Murphy in his first directorial role managed the production very well.  

The set was good, the tower was dominant down stage right, however I felt it was a little under-used.  I liked the multi-purpose book flat for the tower and throne room.

Lighting was generally suitable, I liked the UV scene with the addition of fairy lights in Fairy Flora’s dress and the Witch’s dress, but would have liked a little more definition in the Witch’s attendants.  Sound was good although there were a number of late mic cues in both performances.

Musically there were some nice numbers, which the cast performed well.  Ellie Jaggers took over partway through, and did a good job – her band also accompanied well.  The sound balance between band and stage was good.

Choreography from Kerry Collins was well thought-out, and suitable for the different levels of expertise in the cast.

Costumes were colourful and suitable for the characters, a very good job from the costume team, however I missed a few extra finishing touches.

The two junior teams were well-matched, certain little people stood out for being extra smiley and putting loads of expression into what they did.  I liked the Young and Teenage Rapunzel’s from both teams, and was particularly impressed by Chloe Burnett, such composure and expression.

Tim Hayden gave us a very full on and funny Dame, Trixie G – with all the associated audience participation, and some very good costumes.  I thought the actual Trixie G costume just hit the right note. Tim always pulls out all the stops and makes the Dame both OTT and fun.

Matthew Collins as Frankie Valet was good in his interaction with the audience, I liked the way he spoke with the children that came up on stage.  

Nina Burnett’s opening monologue was important to the story, it was a nice opening as it set the scene, with the onstage action as well – I usually look for a big opening number to engage the audience, but thought this worked really well, Nina spoke well with lots of expression.

Lacie, Macie and Gracie, played by Aileen Maher, Freya Spratley and Allanah Rogers looked lovely, played their parts and sang well, a very good trio who interacted nicely with each other and Freddie.

Mick Hale and Nico Bamford as Rotbag and Grotbag were great, the kids loved them, and they created the good very dippy characters.  The scene with the mops and buckets was very well-managed.  Their costumes were also simple but inventive.

Carl Connolly was a very dashing Prince Freddie.  I enjoyed his Act 1 song very much, lots of energy and interaction with the chorus and other principals, and then showing his softer side with Rapunzel – very nicely performed.

Abigail Houghton was a lovely Rapunzel, she always sings and acts her parts so well, most enjoyable.  I liked her relationship with Freddie and also the Witch.  Her dress and wig were lovely, and the matching dresses for the two small Rapunzels were also good.

Kirsty Day played the Witch Gothel with good evil intent, and lots of maliciousness in both her movement and the tone of her voice.  I felt her costume was a little too elegant for a Witch, and lacked a headdress.

The King and Queen, played by Martin Pursey and Carla Dance looked good together, and gave good meaning to the two sides of the parental coin.

Fairy Flora gave Alice Hayden a chance to be both elegant and charming, I really like the slightly feisty feel to her interpretation – very well-achieved Alice.  Alice’s dress was absolutely beautiful.

The Captain of the Guard was Paul Rogers in a great suit of armour – he did a good job with the part, and his hopeful avoidance of Trixie G!!

All in all a very good pantomime, with lots of audience participation, and traditional pantomime elements which I thoroughly enjoyed.


 review date: 14th &15th January 2017

Luton Library Theatre

Director: Luke Murphy

MD: Ellie Jaggers   Choreographer:  Kerry Collins


Asst: Kerry Collins

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