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A very cheerful and pacey production, with colourful costumes, and all the elements of a good traditional pantomime.

A rousing opening drew us into the production, and it was nice to have more music throughout, which lifted the whole proceeding.   A couple of numbers were not quite the right key for the performer, but everyone coped well.

The set worked well, and allowed the cast to move freely, it was well-lit mostly, and projection was excellent – as I didn’t really see any evidence of mics, so the cast achieved their goal, in that the audience heard every word.

I liked the use of a lot of local references, always goes down well with the audience, and the magic was very well done by Peter Davies as Mefisto, it created another dimension to the performance.

It was nice to see a junior chorus, the youngsters certainly got into the whole ethos, and made lovely sheep!!  I also thought they did really well in the circus scene where they acted out the acrobatics and general circus antics.  A junior chorus always adds something indefinable to a pantomime, and one which I love.

I thought it was a shame the adult chorus did not have ‘proper’ costumes, they just looked a little ordinary amongst all the other costumes.  I am aware that it is a big ask to make costumes for everyone – but just a little thought could have made it so much more cheerful.

Andy Turner made a super Fanny Fairacre, lovely dress, befitting a panto Dame, which he wore well, along with his imaginative wig and make up – he certainly kept the fun going throughout.

There were some good characters, Clive Crowther as Wally, looked a typical country yokel, and kept his accent going well.  

Pauline Mead not only choreographed the show, which was suitable for the cast and they did well, she also played Lady Sneering, who we were very happy to boo and hiss!  Her costume was stunning, and looked really good.

I liked the two young ladies playing Freddy and Bo-Peep - Izzy Statham and Nancy Goodchild respectively – did a really good job, getting better and better as the production progressed and they relaxed into their roles.  I particularly liked Bo-Peep’s lullaby, very nicely sung.

David Howell and Benita Gilliam created a nice comedy duo, loved the wigs and the costume colour, which helped make these two stand out from the other cast members.  They acted daft, and told some good jokes – which also helped to move the action along.

Lucy Goodchild was once again right on the button with her portrayal of Cindy Sparkle, a good part for her, as she has a lively face which she uses well.  I liked the Charleston with Sian Duddy, a nice departure nicely danced.

I have already mentioned Peter Davies as the dastardly Mefisto – we have come to expect a good performance from Peter whatever he does, and this was no exception – those mellifluous Welsh tones turning more strident for the baddie, again made us want to boo him – which we did!

Ann Mundye and Diane Goodchild as Buttercup, Kim Marston-Taylor as PC Wurld, and Maureen Wallis as Merdaulf, all gave good performances too.

I felt the level of performance had stepped up this year, and the inclusion of music and youngsters made this a much more interesting and complete pantomime – well done Redbourn.

Redbourn Players

LITTLE BO_PEEP” review date: 7TH Dec 2013

Redbourn Village Hall

Director:  June Farmer  Music Advisor: Emma Farmer

Choreographer: Pauline Mead


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