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However many times I see a Stage 1 pantomime I never cease to come away feeling uplifted and happy.

Terry Mills, who writes and directs the pantomime along with his team of assistants, always gets excellent performances from his cast of young people, aged between 8 and 13 years.

Musically the cast sang well to good accompaniment from Alex Fry and Jonathan Mills on keyboards providing lots of musical interest, with Tim Garside on drums adding emphasis, under the baton of Diana Baxter.  Generally the songs were well-chosen and I enjoyed them very much.

The costumes were particularly good this year, very colourful and pristine, with nice tidy hair which just completes the picture and that attention to detail increases my enjoyment of the overall production.

The sets were good, nicely painted and very suitable, I liked the castle forecourt with the drawbridge, and I thought the CCTV camera on the ramparts was building its part up with more movement this year!!  I liked the coat of arms as well.

Choreography was well within the capabilities of the cast.

The strobe lighting for the chase scene created a different atmosphere to the production, and good lighting throughout added to the overall effect and ambience of the production.

The show was opened by Amelia Gravenor as Alfred Acorn, good projection, and a very nice singing voice.  Alfred was the narrator, and really took command of the stage.

Lucy Farrar was a super Robin Hood, she really looked the part, plenty of principal boy attitude and expression.  Lucy is a good performer, sings very nicely, and I enjoy how she interprets a role.  Costumes were stunning.  Robin’s two main songs were nicely put over and very expressive, with nice lighting on the trees for Goldfinger.

I liked Chloe Harkin as Dame Trott, she got good interaction with the audience, and very dame-like qualities, very well done.

Emily Harber played Maid Marion well, and I enjoyed the main duet between her and Robin, their voices went well with each other.  

The Merry Men, Josh Creaven, Fern Skinner, Amy Parry, Jade McLeary Evie Gormley and Eliza Reilly all interacted well, with Will Scarlet (played by Connie Wiltshire) and Much (played by Georgia Lloyd) showing accomplishment in their portrayals.  There was a good selection of costumes here, giving the parts individuality.  

Nathaniel Edwards as Alan-A-Dale stood out as his face is always full of expression, and he got the feel of the part really well.  Friar Tuck’s wig was inspired, and Josh delivered some comedy lines well.

I liked the relationship between Kurt Price (an excellent Sheriff) who was very energetic with good projection, Bethany Newport as his wife Geraldine, and Ben Parks as Sir Guy, who again gave us very good projection and a very spirited portrayal, which added a different dimension to the piece.  I loved the part where the Sheriff and Sir Guy appeared in their underwear, both lads showed no embarrassment and really acted well.

Megan Newns was a charming Rose Apple, creating a good relationship with Much.  Rachel King and Hope Campbell as Dudley kept very well in step with each other, which was good to see.  

The diminutive Sheriff’s guard were fun – loved their 1D shields!  Their Captain, Robert Lovelock, showed promise and was expressive too.  Charlotte Lovelock, Kyra Campbell, Millie Parks, Sighanne Seaton and Morgan Wiltshire all coped well with the marching routines.

The ladies of the court were delightful, as played by Maddison Fontenelle, Rachel King, Amelia Ravenor, Darcey Griffith and Hope Campbell, again in very pretty costumes.  

The Village Girls, Summer Harkin, Casey Fontenelle, Zoe Reilly, Ellie Fowler, Emily Albert and Amelie Lloyd,  were enchanting, and very accomplished, particularly in the Maypole Dance, the weaving of the ribbons worked really well.

Morgan Wiltshire, with a nicely drawn portrayal, completed the line up of characters as King Richard.

The sound throughout was good, and it was lovely to hear the cast projecting so well without the use of personal mics – a lesson to adults I feel!!  Well done to everyone.

The opening number was energetic and gave us a feel of what was to come, and the finale was really good, as always leaving the audience on a high, another exciting evening, I love what Stage 1 does along with the accomplishment and commitment they perform with.


review date: 5th Feb 2016 Stopsley High School

Written and Directed  by Terry Mills

MD: Diana Baxter    Choreographer: Pat Seal

Production & Choreography Assistants:

Sarah Albert & Jo Yirrell

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