Little Hallingbury Panto Group 2017 - Sleeping Beauty
For 2017 we chose Sleeping Beauty and ran from 25th - 28th January 2017. The script was by Alan Frayn and published by Stage Right Creative. And with such wonderful lines as “Surviving an impossible labrynth, too complex to be deciphered.” (The M11 Junction 8 you take your life in your hands when you use it.). With Marianne Bullen was Princess Rose, and Samantha Thorpe as Princes Alexis and Alexander. Mark Hutley as Nurse Dottie dettol (because she’s clean round the bend. Caroline Gostelow as the good fairy Lilac was the counterfoil to Alan Townsend’s Bad Witch Hazel. The usual suspects were behind the scenes for another excellent run of 5 shows. For a change, we moved the Wednesday performance forward to a 7.30 PM start, and for the first time in many years, we didn’t have a Saturday morning performance. The team were lifted by the news that we had been nominated as Best Pantomime in the NODA Eastern Area District 7, for the 3rd time in 4 years. This time for our production of Aladdin.
The Rig and Rehearsals 2017
It’s not often that you’ll find Chris in front of the camera, but for rehearsals, he sets up at the back of the hall. While the mixing desk loooks under utilised there, it will have 5 microphones, Keith’s orchestra, 3 computers and the CCTV sound running through it (15 channels)
A couple of shots of the lightingrig.
2 photos from rehearsal in January
The Production 2017
All photographs © 2017 Chris Rohrer and used by permission
LITTLE HALLINGBURY PANTO GROUP
Director: Julie O'Brien
Musical Director & Pianist: Philip Hayes
Choreography: Sue Tonkin, Julie O'Brien, Alison Hutley
Reviewed at Little Hallingbury Village Hall on Friday 27th January 2017
There can be no better way to forget your worries and cares on a cold winter's day than to be lransported to a world of make believe, via the age old genre of Pantomime. A script by Alan P Frayn
produced by a Society of enthusiastic people about whom I had heard only good things, was eagerly
anticipated and we were not disappointed.
Sleeping Beauty tells the story of a King and Queen blessed with a longed for baby who grows into a
beautiful princess. As predicted by a bad witch, when the princess is sixteen she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel. But the good fairy has intervened and instead of dying the princess falls asleep for l00 years before being awakened by a kiss from a Prince.
Following the prologue the curtains opened to reveal a very impressive set against which the good folk of Muddleby on Marsh, all of whom were in excellent voice, welcomed the audience with a vibrant, colourful introduction.
Marianne Bullen was the perfect Princess Rose. There was one lapse in her dialogue which she coveredso professionally, immediately getting the audience on side. A good confident performance and a beautiful singing voice. Her rendition of When I Grow Up, as sung by the '12 year old Princess, was delightful
King Cactus and Queen Marigold were well played by Jonny Hays and Zoe Deal and Mark Hutley was brilliant as Nurse Dottie Dettol, Nanny and Governess to Princess Rose. The jokes and innuendo came thick and fast and there was excellent interaction with the audience. Very well done.
Corinna gave a lively performance as Muddles the Palace handyman keeping everyone up to date with the goings on in Muddleby on Marsh and building up a good rapport with the audience.
Caroline Gostelow as Good Fairy Lilac and Alan Townsend as Bad Witch Hazel both gave strong performances and the audience, made up mainly of adults, this being an evening performance, absolutely loved and loathed them respectively and responded accordingly.
Prince Alexis was nicely played by Sam Thorpe. Good acting and a lovely singing voice.
Fetch and Carry were a great double act and the Post Haste scene had us all in stitches. Very well done to Keith Brown and Poppy Lawrence. A master class in comic timing.
Well done to the Rainbow Fairies for their good supporting roles including some great comic moments courtesy of David Allum as Fairy Green.
There was excellent accompaniment from MD and pianist Philip Hays. I liked that he played introductory music to set the scene. Sadly this is often lacking in pantos. His interaction with the cast was a nice touch.
Congratulations to Bill and Veronika Williams who designed the lovely set and to everyone else behind the scenes. Transforming a village hall to a theatre in a very limited amount of lime is no mean feat especially when that transformation includes installing a complete lighting system from scratch.
Fortunately the Society has a large band of loyal helpers.
This was a very good energetic production, full of great songs and plenty of movement and dancing.
The costumes were sumptuous and really took the show to a different level.
There is just one thing that, in my opinion, could have made it even better. Had Princess Rose been able to lie on a small bed or couch and therefore be slightly elevated, it could have made more of the kiss andher awakening which, acted out as it was on the floor, was not visible by everyone in the audience. I forone missed it! This is more of an observation than a criticism and as large props take up precious storage space backstage, this may not have been an option.
Thank you to Director Julie O'Brien for her invite to go back-stage after the performance and to Stage Manager Ralph Thompson and Julie for sparing the time to show us round. I always enjoy a peep behind the scenes! Particularly impressive was the large space dedicated to make-up in this limited area, ensuring that what the audience sees is of the highest standard.
Well done Little Hallingbury on another successful production. Thank you for your warm welcome and hospitality and I look forward to next time.
2018 Jack and The Beanstalk