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Robinson Crusoe

Written & Directed by: Paul Johnson
Performed: Fri 16th & 23rd January 2009 @ 7.30pm, Sat 17th & 24th @ 2.30pm & 7.00pm, Sun 17th and 24th @ 1.30pm and 5.30pm at
St. Anne's Hall, Wandsworth

       
  Cast Crew

 

ROBINSON CRUSOE
MRS CRUSOE                         
BOSUN ARROWS                  
CAPTAIN HOWARD  
SAILOR CHARLIE WEED    
CAPTAIN CROOK                 
CUTTHROAT JAKE                
BARTHOLOMEW BLACKHEART 
VILE VERNON                        
FRIDAY                                 
PROFESSOR LIMESTONE   
HENRIETTA                              
THE DEMON        




Catherine Fox-Kirk
Keith Barnes
Sue Jakobsen
Ben Ellis
Niki Bencic
Peter Nower
Judith Butler
Emma Stallard
Rebecca Stafford
Jake Flint
Paul Johnson
Clare Pepperell
Niki Bencic

DIRECTOR
ASST. DIRECTOR 
PRODUCER

LIGHTING DESK
SOUND DESK
FoH MANAGERS

Paul Johnson
Keith Barnes
Sue Jakobsen &
Niki Bencic
Julia Coleman
Ian Pring
Orna Joseph &
Sharron Stubbs

NODA Review by Tony Sweeney

General
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.

Players
Overall this is an enthusiastic group who work hard and this is reflected in a very polished performance.

Leading
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.

Support
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.

Director
This was well directed making good use of a small stage and the range of abilities casting was good.

Musical Director
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.

Technical aspects
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).

Programme
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.

 

Production Photos (Click to enlarge)



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