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“FRANKENSTEIN”


What fun to see a different pantomime, but with all the traditional elements.  Nicely written by David Howell, there were one liners, jokes aplenty, innuendo and local references.  It was nice to have an accompanist for the musical numbers, and certain sound effects, which really brought the proceedings to life.


The set was good, allowing the cast to work well round it, with the use of the extension and hall doors giving them all plenty of options to get on and off the stage.  I thought the dungeon was particularly well dressed, with skeleton and instruments etc.


Lighting was good throughout, as was sound.  The effect at the end of Act 1 was very good.


Costumes were mostly suitable, however I would have liked to see Baron Frankenstein in something a little more flamboyant to echo his evil character, he didn’t stand out enough amongst the other colourful costumes.


It was nice to see an engaged junior chorus, who all spoke their parts really well, and joined in with gusto.


Lucy Goodchild always makes a part count, and as the leader of the Villagers led them well, encouraging them to get behind her at all times.


I liked Pauline Mead’s portrayal of Retributia, Frankenstein’s ex-wife.  Just enough irony and innuendo to make this a telling part, whilst David Howell as Frankenstein gave us plenty of reason to boo him, and be happy when he got taken down.


I enjoyed Elise Seabrook-France and Freya Gill as Conny and Vinny the young lovers, they played very well off each other, showing  good relationship.  They played their parts to the full and I enjoyed Vinny’s song, although I felt he was a little too far stage right and fixed on the pianist, as the audience on stage left missed a lot of the facial expressions, a point for the future!


Mario Violentano was a suitably bumbling Professor Claptrap, he also looked the part with his white wig.


Euan Howell and Hilary Violentano were great fun as Constable Stupid and Inspector Mad, a great deal of fun, with Hilary showing particularly good comic timing.


Igor Blimey, Frankenstein’s henchman, was played with great aplomb by Jordan Davis.  I thought at first that he wasn’t going to actually do much, but the part developed as the panto went on, and he obviously enjoyed what he was doing, and was fully committed – well done.


Clive Crowther gave Count Bloodsucker a very quirky persona, not at all what one would expect, but it gave a good dimension to the triangle of Him, Frankenstein and Doctor Jekyll, who was played by Benita Gilliam, who always enters into a part with energy and understanding.  Good contrasts within the group.


Maureen Wallis played Jobsworth, and I loved it when she drank the potion and turned into a monster, very funny.


Colin Cook was a very good Strange Bloke, the creation of Frankenstein.  He got the feeling of a manufactured person, whilst taking us with him on his ‘journey’, a very nice characterisation.


For me the stand out performance was from Andy Turner as Countess Von Helsing, he was able to give the role the full blast of his personality and wore his outrageous costumes well.


I felt there were some missed opportunities for audience participation and repartee between the cast and audience, but everyone enjoyed all the local references and innuendo.  A fun script that allowed everyone to make the most of their part.





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Redbourn Players

FRANKENSTEIN”  

review date: 8th December 2017 Redbourn Village Hall

Qeittrn by: David Howell

Director & Choreographer:Pauline Mead

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