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“ALICE THE PANTO”
Once again TADS Teens gave us a really fun evening. The cast performed with energy and enthusiasm, and without exception with excellent projection.
The sets were good, I particularly liked the cartoonesque style of the inside of the burrow, and the cast were able to use the stage well.
Costumes were very colourful and looked fresh, I really liked Alice’s dress, also her sister’s and the Queen, but overall everything was very suitable and worn well. There were the quirkier ones as for the Cheshire Cat, and the Caterpillar, but all were worn with panache by the cast. There were some very quick costume changes, which all seemed to be accomplished well.
The lighting suited the feel of the piece, and there were some good sound effects as we went into the White Rabbit’s burrow for example.
Some of the cast took on multiple parts, and managed to create diverse characters which were all good.
Josh Kendall played the White Rabbit and gave a good performance.
Clare McGinn was a charming Alice, nicely played overall. I would have liked to have seen a more statement Alice band – integral to the character.
Charlotte Taylor was an unassuming but lovely sister to Alice –but a totally different and very fiery Queen – a super portrayal. The red wig was great.
I enjoyed the Caterpillar, played by Charlie Driver and Hannah Ridley, and real comic character from them both. They also played other roles, the King from Charlie, who I was glad to see turn on his nasty wife(!), and Hannah as a Card in the croquet match, where she was joined by Luc Durancer, I enjoyed the turning of the cards business. Hannah also played the lovely sleepy Dormouse, she was really cute and played the part well.
Lotte Ridley played an alternative Fairy Godmother, with bad memory and attitude, nicely done, I really warmed to her portrayal, as it is often difficult to get a good character out of a Fairy. Lotte also gave us the Hare – but I liked the Fairy more!
Mollie Bray as the Duchess gave us a strong character who succeeded in losing her baby well over the course of the production; she also took on the parts of the Tree and Ghost. Especially good projection as the Tree.
I loved the pairing of Luc Durancer and Harrison Watson as the twins Tweedledum and Tweedledee – they created a super comedy duo.
Luc also played the Mad Hatter, and was really totally mad, a good performer in the making here, and he obviously loves what he does. Occasionally a little too manic, which detracted from the character, but I do not want to curb his natural enthusiasm.
Harrison completed the line up with a rather sly Cheshire Cat, which he managed well,
loved the sparkly coat and the song – a good all-
Harrison also played the beautifully camp Knave to the full – without any awkwardness, and good comic timing. He maintained his character even when the spotlight wasn’t on him, which showed good attention to detail. It was great that he could accomplish three very different but excellent portrayals – I love this young man’s work.
I liked Old McDonald it worked really well, and Luc also accomplished the White Rabbit’s holiday record really well – always a good part of the fun.
I loved the energy and enthusiasm shown by the cast for what was a fun, enjoyable production.
It was sad that this was Rachel Price’s last production for a while, so I’d like to personally thank her for serving up so many good productions and also playing excellent parts over the years, plus her commitment to TADS in so many roles, but I’m sure she will be back in years to come!!
“ALICE THE PANTO”
TADS Theatre, Toddington
review date 18th April 2015
Director: Rachel Price Choreographer: Susie Condor