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I always love Stage 1’s annual pantomime, as it is a joyous occasion, and this year was no exception.  In fact, this year I think considering the diverse ages of the cast they excelled themselves.

Terry Mills uses his own script, with tweaks to bring it up to date, and music that is both traditional and age appropriate.  The MD, Director etc got the cast to a generally high standard.  I must also mention Javin Ramkissoon a remarkable keyboard player for one so young, who played for rehearsals, and along with Sarah Farrar provided the accompaniment for the show.  A good addition to Stage 1.

The scenery was minimal, but sufficient to suggest the various scenes.

Costumes are always a joy, as are the very neat hairdos.  Everyone on stage looks well-dressed, and the colours are lovely.  Little girls wearing really beautiful dresses, and little boys looking clean and tidy are wonderful.  All learning early the importance of going on stage looking the best they possibly can. The Giant is always a great addition, very evil looking and sounding.

One of the best things about Stage 1’s productions is that no-one wears a personal mic, although there are static mics at the front of the stage, but everyone projects well, so we hear every word, and are obviously advised to pay attention to their diction at all times – well done everyone.

Sarah Albert provided good choreography, that was suitable for them all, and that the cast undertook with gusto.

The opening was very lively, lovely smiley faces and good choice of song.  The finale was also good, featuring several songs after the cast had taken their bows.

It’s lovely that every young person has a part and at least a line to say, no-one is forgotten, and they all have their share of the limelight.   

Emily Albert (Dame Edna) showed a maturity in her performance, getting the audience on her side with plenty of participation from her first entrance.  This young lady covers all performance aspects with ease, and she seemed to enjoy showing off her great costumes and wigs, almost as much as the part – excellent characterisation, energy and confidence.  I enjoyed her Money song, and also the comedy of the Lollipop song with Amber Shaw as Trixie.

Amber Shaw (Trixie Tucker) coped very well with the malapropisms demanded of the role, and also performed well as Matilda – well achieved.

Tykia Campbell (Jack) had the right sort of swagger for a principal boy, singing and acting well, although I detected a little diffidence at times. I enjoyed the duet with Grace Nyaongo (Jill), Tykia showed consideration for Grace, and created a nice moment.  Well done to both of you.

Kyra Campbell (Story Teller), kept the production running on the right lines, with her expressive and clear narration – she looked beautiful in her gown with matching shoes.


Amelie Rocha as the Fairy Godmother looked lovely in her ivory dress, and I thoroughly enjoyed her song in the opening of Act 2 – no lack of confidence apparent, very nicely achieved.

There were so many good performances, in fact I felt the entire cast were particularly strong this year, despite the fact that the majority were probably younger than usual.

Jack’s friends adopted diverse characters. Robert Lovelock (Tommy Tucker) showed a great improvement in his performance skills, creating a really good character, and the same goes for Jessica Albert (Lucy Lockett).  The other friends, Jamie Nichols (Simple Simon) and Yasmin Bork (Polly Flinders) complemented the group with very nice performances.

I liked the Police group, Jordan Hiepner (Sgt Plod), very upright and serious, definitely in command of his ‘farce’ – Cole and Bailey O’Neill as Neat & Tidy, these two also doubled as Daffodil the Cow, which they did very well and with humour.  I liked both their numbers, which they performed with aplomb, and were great fun.  Tiptoe Through the Tulips with Dame Edna and Daffodil was also very good.

Harrison Ohuabunwa and Vanessa Hazel (Lord and Lady McDonald) both gave good performances, with Vanessa doubling as the Giant’s housekeeper, singing very well. Harrison doubled as the Tin Man, looking great and speaking with authority.

Angel Bayliss looked cute as Barbara Allen, but really came into her own as Tom Thumb, as did Isabelle Hosey as Dorothy, but also a very pretty Goldilocks – both showing confidence and poise beyond their years.

Jasper Withnail and Caitlyn Hackett (Jack and Mrs Spratt), created a fun relationship, and also doubled as Harry Potter and Postman Pat, both strong performances.

Daniel Clarke (Peter Piper) showed great expression and energy, he delivered his “It’s a whopper” line with great timing!  Daniel also doubled as the Scarecrow, where he had to sing a difficult song, which he did extremely well.  

Zara Hiepner (Jenny Wren), Briony Gannon-Webster (Little Bo Peep) and Jack Snell (Bobby Shafto) all added their support to the cast with their roles.  Well Done.  

A super evening’s entertainment. I thoroughly enjoyed every performance, some were outstanding, but everyone gave the audience good reason to be extremely enthusiastic in their applause and appreciation of the show.  Congratulations everyone.




review date: 7th Feb 2020 Stopsley High School

Producer: Terry Mills

MD: Sarah Farrar   Choreographer: Sarah Albert

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