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"OH, WHAT A BEAUTY"


A thoroughly fun and relaxed evening - the original pantomime, written by Sue Sachon, had been slightly re-written to give us an adult version, that was very funny.  A little risquè, but in the main using innuendo rather than blatant swearing, which was good.


The scenery used was good, very colourful, and suited to the storyline, accommodating the action really well.  The lighting was very good throughout, as was the sound generally, the music used was excellent and the sound effects just right.  In fact the whole production worked really well in all aspects.


I liked the projections and the use of different gobos etc - which all created a good atmosphere.


I liked the pairing of the two sets of Fairy Godmother's - the good and the bad.  the good were played by Emily Venn and Janet Bray, Janet in particular showing good comic timing and excellent characterisation.  I liked the contrast between the slightly straighter fairy, with Janet playing the very whacky (in more ways than one) fairy, with a very funny accent - the accent did at times become a little too thick, so the words were obscured. but we got the meaning well.


The bad fairies were a very in your face pairing of Mike Collins and Rachel Price.  Mike Collins showing a lovely, shapely pair of pins!! - and a very fetching costume and wig.  Rachel looked good in her basque and tutu- which gave them the look of a pair of very evil fairies.  They interacted well, and gave us some very funny moments.


Kevin Birkett and Michelle Chamberlain were an amusing King and Queen, protecting their lovely daughter from interested males!  Michelle looked really good in her very fetching outfit, and was a good foil to Kevin's rather bumbling King.


Sophie Venn made the transition from lovely innocent princess to a flighty piece, who knew exactly what she wanted from the swashbuckling Prince, without losing her essential naivety - well done!


Leanne Lyndsey White was a very full on Prince, I liked her song, the words were very well rewritten and extremely funny - which Leanne accomplished well.  She had all the right moves and inflections for a panto Prince, and her sword fight with the evil Ima (Rachel Price) was very well done - the backing music lent great drama to it.


I particularly liked Alkesh Lalji as Cream Horn the French chef.  He got some really good expressions, plenty of sauciness, and kept his accent throughout, even when he was singing.  Very well done.


Rachael Garside gave us a very full-on Justin, with loads of saucy facial expressions, and I loved the Oyez sequence - excellent.  Rachael has excellent projection, and delivered all her lines with great meaning.


Jake Dudley created a raunchy Matron - encouraging lots of audience participation.  He obviously enjoyed the part and gave it his all.  There were lots of innuendos and double entendres - which all went to make the part extremely funny.


The three members of the guard were all very different, as played by Janet Bray, Leanne Lyndsey White and Judy Palmer.  I found them all very funny, but Judy's understated and obviously dim-witted interpretation was the most amusing for me. Their musical number was also good fun.


Charlotte Duffy as the equivalent of a Lord Chamberlain, has a very unusual voice, and used it to great effect.


There were lots of comical moments - the bedpan, the bed being taken off stage, the tissue, and many others, all of which made this a good evening's entertainment.


The inevitable song that we all joined in was rewritten very well, so it was quite difficult to sing whilst laughing,  and the Mrs Puggy Wuggy audience particpation verse, was also great fun.


So, all in all a fun evening, with the whole cast appearing relaxed and enjoying themselves, which drew the audience in and ensured we enjoyed the experience too.













TADS Theatre Group

“OH, WHAT A BEAUTY” TADS Theatre, Toddington

review date 1st Feb 2014

Director: Steven & Lea Pryer


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