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This production was hilarious, perhaps not top drawer as such, but a thoroughly raucous evening, led by Steve Loczy and Rachel Price.

Lea Pryer adapted her family panto script well, and the cast had a lot of freedom I felt, and probably ad libbed quite a lot!

The set was a little bland, however the lighting spiced it up a bit, and there were some very good effects used.  I particularly liked the lighting on the sea witch’s chair.

Sound was good throughout, although the Sharks needed to slow down at times, as I was missing some of their lib.

Costumes were adapted from the family pantomime, and some were extremely crude in construction, but heyho, this is adult pantomime, not something for the faint-hearted!

I liked the musical numbers, there were some very clever words which enlivened the music.

The main Mermaid was nicely played by Julie Walton, a newcomer to TADS, I felt she was a little diffident to start with, but her confidence increased over the show.  Her costume was a little revealing, but she wore it with panache.  I would have liked to have seen something done with her hair, it did not look Princessy, and rather got in the way!

The orange fish was nicely played by Emma Lidford, she coped very well with the outrageous Dame, who was her main partner, and held her own very well.

The two Mermaid Princesses were nicely played by Judy Palmer and Clare McGinn.  I liked their costumes and they achieved contrasting characters.

Sophie Venn played the Mermaid Queen and also the Prince, she was probably the most normal character-wise, in terms of panto individuals, and kept the action flowing.

Steve Loczy, in his first adult panto, took full advantage of the freedom of the Dame, and hammed it up unmercifully – extremely funny and utterly outrageous.  I felt he strayed a little from the script and fell out of character from time to time, but he worked the audience well.

Rachel Price as the evil Aunt Mermaid, gave us a super portrayal, musically great in her numbers, and again she knew how to work the audience, which she did very effectively.  Great to see her on stage again.

These two were pivotal to the plot and the production, keeping the audience onside and getting the most out of us.

The two Sharks, played by Emily Venn and Jane Murdoch got plenty of wry humour into their portrayals, and their song was funny – however, as mentioned before, they needed to speak a little more clearly for us to get the full meaning of their lib, I felt I possibly missed out on some funny interaction.

Janet Bray ventured back into panto playing several small parts, which she did well.

Rachael Horsler was a suitably enraged young lady, when she found her suitor, the Prince, was more interested in the Mermaid.  A nice contrast to the other characters.

Malcolm Steven and Barry Symonds played the older Kings and Fathers.  Malcolm needed more volume, Barry gave us plenty of gusto in both his parts.

I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at TADS, a really good laugh, and two stand out performances which made this memorable, possibly for all the wrong reasons, but the embodiment of adult pantomime.

TADS Theatre Group


review date 27th Jan 2018

Writer, Director, Choreographer & MD: Lea Pryer


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