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This is one of my favourite engagements of the year - watching young people give of their all, making use of their undoubted talents, guided by Terry Mills and his wonderful team.

It never ceases to amaze me that children from 8 to 13 years can achieve such high standards - there are at least 10 of the youngsters under 9 which is great.  I love to see what can be achieved, and no matter what the level of talent or performance skills everyone has a named part and gets their chance to shine.

Projection throughout was excellent, with only stand mics being used, so that is a brilliant accomplishment.  Many adults could learn a lesson there!

The opening was a great start to the show, lots of bright, smiley faces and good singing, setting the scene for a fast-paced show, with lots of humour and super performances.

The show was narrated by Kirsty Davison, who looked really lovely in her deep red dress.  She spoke very clearly and kept the action moving along - she did a good job.

I particularly liked the improvement in Amy Farrar's performance, she played Dame Edna with great vigour, loads of expression and good rapport with the audience, a very accomplished performance.  Amy was really able to throw herself into the part and showed good all round skills.

I thought the two policemen, Amelia Gravener and Amy Parry did very well, led by Daniel Ayemere-Okojie as Sgt Plod - this young man has a lovely open face, with a great smile and good projection.  The three of them sang their song and did their movement well.

The shop owners, Connie Wiltshire, Morgan Wiltshire & Evie Gormley all created good characters, taking into account their different personas, with Rosie Thompson as Mary, Mary giving an assured performance.  

Georgia Lloyd was a very pretty Barbara Allen, and later in Act 2 created a charming Dorothy, showing Jack and his friends the way to the Giant's Lair, via the yellow brick road.  This young lady has a very lively face and engaging personality.

Chloe Harkin as Jack, gave us a good strong principal boy, with flair and good singing voice to enhance her character.  Jack's friends, played by Amy Walker, Kurt Price, Kieran Newport, Lucy Farrar and Talya Agasee all created good characters, with Kurt as Tommy Tucker showing us a very nice singing voice, whilst Kieran as Simple Simon once again gave us loads of personality and expression.

Lord and Lady MacDonald played by Ben Parks and Maya Robinson, were well cast, they got the essence of the upper class gentry, and Ben accomplished the three cheers element very well.

Ciara Shadlow certainly looked the part of the Fairy Godmother - in her beautiful white dress and sparkly jewellery, she projected well in both dialogue and song.

Michael Asbury gave us a very good Bobby Shafto, in his cute sailor's outfit, he really got into the swing of things, whilst William Nicholls and Jay Winn created funny and full-on characters of Silly Billy and Peter Piper - Jay giving us a very good and precise reciting of the Peter Piper rhyme - very well done.  

Little Bo Peep, Goldilocks, Betty Blue and Elsie Marly were very nicely played by Megan Newns, Summer Harkin, Sighanne Seaton and Millie Parkes, whilst Charlotte Lovelock was an assured Little Miss Muffet.  

Emily Harber was the sad Mrs Neredowell, the Giant's Housekeeper, when she sang her song we really got the feeling that she didn't want to be working for the nasty old Giant, and her happiness at being saved by Jack and his friends.

Whilst on their quest to find the Giant, Jack and friends met many characters along the way, Theresa Zammito created a strong Matilda, I enjoyed her song, whilst Bethany Newport really got under the skin of Postman Pat, with her song.  

Benjamin Agasee was a super scarecrow - we all loved his song, he has such an expressive face and body - very well done.

Nathaniel Edwards created a very good General Tom Thumb, with his military bearing, and again sang well.

And so, to Daffodil the cow - a collaboration between William Nicholls and Jay Winn, which won our hearts and gave us lots of humour - very well done.

The sets were good, and I loved the fact that there was an actual Giant - very menacing, with excellent sound and lighting effects for him - his appearance in the finale was also fun.

Costumes were lovely - which they always are, I particularly liked the Dame's dresses, they were very garish and suited the character that Amy had created.

Diana Baxter and her trio of Jonathan Mills and Tim Garside, accompanied the cast extremely well, and Diana had worked well with the youngsters to get their singing as good as it could be.  I also liked the fact that some more modern music had been incorporated alongside the more traditional numbers.

Pat Seal created simple but effective choreography, that everyone could do - and that looked good.

So, as you can tell, once again I was thrilled to have been a part of the audience for this accomplished and charming pantomime, which had all the traditional elements, and allowed the cast to create characters and interact with each other and the audience.  

Stage 1


review date: 8tht Feb 2014

Stopsley High School

Produced by Terry Mills

MD: Diana Baxter    Choreographer: Pat Seal

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