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“Once Upon a Fairytale”

It was really nice to see an original pantomime, and Lea Pryer had written this one very well, it had some clever twists, and incorporated several well-known fairy tales, which made it familiar, but not run of the mill.

The set was good, it worked well for the cast, and was well-constructed.  I liked the flat with the books, and also the table made of large books, all nicely linked in.  There were some lovely paintings on the wall, but unfortunately we weren’t really able to see them as they were flat against the wall.

Sound was good throughout, and lighting was of a high standard, I particularly liked the effect at the end of Act 1.  

Choreography was suitable for the whole cast, but I was not convinced by the choice of some music.  Unfortunately, because backing tracks were used most of the musical numbers were a little too long, I felt the pace was affected by the music.  

Costumes were very colourful and worn well by the cast.

Molly Harper narrated the story well, always good to see she can still be involved on stage.

I really liked Richard Chatterley as the Dame, Wanda Spell – he created an altogether softer version, quite cheeky, but well performed, which was good contrast to the two nasties!  His costume was nicely conceived, and loved the eyelashes.  It seems to be a trend for Dames to keep their moustaches if they normally wear one, and I’m not averse to it!

Jane Murdoch and Tracey Chatterley were Miss Atrick and Miss Demeanour, the two scheming witches.  They played well off each other, and we were very happy to boo them.  Tracey has developed a good rapport with audiences, which encourages them to boo her.  Their costumes were very good, and worked well, including the wigs that came off to reveal their horns.  I liked the cake making sequence as the kids participation scene, it made a change.

Emma Lidford created a charming Pixie Dust, and was a good foil to Rachel Price, as the mischievous Puck.  They sang well together, and Emma had a lightness to her portrayal.

Always good to see Rachel Price on stage, she gives a full-on characterisation, and this was particularly relevant for Puck.  Very well done.

Charlotte Taylor really looked the part as Mallie, good costume, worn well, and nice edge to her lib.

Michelle Stanton was Sugar, loved her eating doughnuts throughout the show, a good ploy, but gosh, although they were only small I bet she’s fed up of them now!!

Alex Chatterley was Tinks, a good portrayal, but I needed a little more attitude from her at times, she was a little diffident.  

Isabella Bacon was a charming and confident Blossom - she interacted well with the cast, and obviously enjoyed being on stage.

I liked Anni Bacon as Floss, she looked lovely in her white dress, very simple, but classy, and she delivered her lib well.

Humphrey Boggart gave Nathaniel Chatterley the chance to give his character some swagger and a devil may care attitude – well done.

Emily Venn, Sophie Venn and Anna Williams as the quarrelsome fairies looked good, and performed well.

I felt Julie Walton as Cliodna was a little tentative at first, then gained confidence, and reacted well to Budal Noz.

Bugal Noz was played with Steve Loczy’s usual enthusiasm, a good character, and a nice foil to the rest of the cast.

I really liked the opening of Act 2, and thought the finale where all the fairies in the school were assigned to their specific fairytales was very clever.

I enjoyed the evening, refreshing to see an original work.

TADS Theatre Group


review date 14th December 2018

Director & Author: Lea Pryer

Choreographer: Emma Lidford


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