This had all the elements of a traditional panto with one or two twists on the theme. Both the performers and the audience really got into the spirit and enjoyed themselves. The intro took the form of a fake radio phone in, a great device.
Overall this is an enthusiastic group who work hard and this is reflected in a very polished performance.
Keith Barnes as the dame was both comic and exuberant. He did a superb skit of Freddie Mercury to the music of “We are the Champions”.An “If I were not upon the stage” sketch was well worked and cleverly choreographed. Again this reinforced the panto theme and a number of touches throughout the evening kept the pace up.
All the players contributed to a fine show. A larger cast than I expected but adding pirates and sailors as well as additional island dwellers gave the story more options than the basic one. The singing was fine and used to move the plot along rather than the filler usually seen in pantos. Dancing was restricted by space on stage and this was overcome by using Hawaiian type hoola hand movements.
This was well directed making good use of a small stage and the range of abilities casting was good.
Some songs were developed to existing tunes which worked well giving the audience a familiar platform on which to build plot and pace. Overall the audience played their part with the traditional panto responses and had clearly come in the right frame of mind.
On such a small stage there was no room for errors in stage management and there were none. The bulk of the time the sound system played background music on one occasion the levels were a little high and some of the singing was lost. This is of course proved difficult in a church hall not designed for acoustics. A simple lighting rig but this worked effectively. Turning night to day with ease and the effects during the undersea portion worked well but was perhaps a little too short. The clever use of lighting with luminous figures allowed the action to transfer from ship to shore but such a key phase seemed to be over in a flash. Set design was really impressive. The stage is a small one, the scenery was well painted and designed to be flexible and easy to move. Given the number of scenes (10) this was seamless.
Props and Costumes
The props all were effective and worked well to enliven the piece. Well this was panto and the dame’s costumes were outlandish as they should be. The rest were well thought out and enhanced the characters on stage. Make up was subtle other than for the dame. The effect of using painted on facial hair rather than a prop distracted the eye from the character (Susan Jakobsen as Bosun Arrows).
This was very effective giving details of all the characters and a little pen picture of some of the players. This helped set the tone.
Front of House
The front of house staff were helpful and friendly, and had prepared well.