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It is always such a joy to attend Stage 1’s annual pantomime and watch this super group of youngsters aged between 8 and 13 years, perform to such a high standard.
This year was no exception, despite the restrictions of preparation time and technical difficulties encountered in using the new performance space at Stopsley. The youngsters will always win out!
It is sometimes difficult to review what is essentially an ensemble production, with every child having a specific character, and at least one line to deliver, which they all accomplished so well.
The scenery was rather basic this year, but loved the coach, the kitchen book flat, and the table removing itself off stage was excellent!
Costumes really stood out this year, as being extremely colourful and pristine – always a joy to see such attention to detail.
I liked the music choices, Diana Baxter led her musicians well, and they accompanied the performers sympathetically. The youngsters all sang very well.
There were some lovely performances from the leading actors. Maddison Fontenelle was a delightful Fairy Godmother, she delivered her lines beautifully and got a good contact with the audience, she also sang very nicely. Definitely one to watch for the future.
Nathaniel Edwards always gives a fine performance, he has a cheekiness about him which lent itself well to Buttons, and I liked the relationship he had with Cinderella. His speech was very clear and he accomplished all the right inflections and expression.
Emily Albert played Cinderella with an assurance and charm that belied her years, I feel there is so much more to come from this young lady. Very well done. I loved Emily’s ballgown and wig, both suited her so well, and she handled them well too.
Ben Parks created a nicely hard done by Baron Hardup, he delivered his lines very
strongly, but also showed the fear he had for his wife! Charlotte Lovelock as the
Baroness also gave us a solid performance, showing her distaste towards the downtrodden
Baron and Cinderella, and her indulgence towards her ‘lovely’ daughters, very well-
Megan Newns and Summer Harkin were super Ugly Sisters, plenty of comedy and slyness – well done.
I enjoyed Robert Lovelock’s King, he was suitably regal, but you could sense the fact that the Queen – nicely acted by Katie Edwards – was the guiding force in that relationship! A good pairing.
Amelia Gravenor was the Prince, and accomplished the necessary principal boy swagger – nicely done, along with Amy Parry as Dandini, again they both accomplished a nice relationship.
I liked the Prince’s out-
Bill and Ben the Brokers Men had especially good costumes, Ellie Fowler and Millie Parks acted really well, I enjoyed what they did.
Neddie the Horse (Daniel & Joshua Jones) performed a very nice dance, and moved well inside the costume, not always easy.
Joshua Creaven created a good Lord Ramsbottom, and his wife was nicely played by Evie Gormley.
I think everyone fell in love with Adam Smith who played Master Archibald with great aplomb – I will be interested to map his progress in the coming years, but he appears to have what it takes to make a good performer. Certainly another one to watch.
Jade McLeary spoke out well as The Town Crier, and I enjoyed the other members of
the cast – Daniel Jones, Zoe Reilly, Joshua Jones, Casey Fontenelle, Ellie Fowler,
Chanel Ferguson, Yasmin Bork, Millie Parks and Haniah Ahmed-
The ensemble performed well in the chorus numbers, good choreography that was simple but effective allowed them all to smile their way through, and they were musically sound.
The transformation scene was well done – Tykia Campbell playing her part in it well.
I cannot commend this Group enough, the directors and behind the scenes team pull out all the stops to make it a production worth remembering, and the hope that once caught by the performing bug these young people will transfer to the adult societies when old enough!
Stage 1 “CINDERELLA”
review date: 3rd Feb 2017 Stopsley High School
Director: Terry Mills
MD: Diana Baxter Choreographer: Sarah Albert