Adventure in Pantoland

Date 22nd January 2015
Society Plumpton Pantomime Society
Venue Plumpton Village Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Duncan Taylor-Jones
Musical Director Jo Taylor
Choreographer Kate Taylor, Duncan Taylor Jones & Carol Grant


Author: Lance Milton

Alan Frayn is a clever soul combining most of our favourite pantomimes all into one very funny zip-along-paced script and this was used to full effect by a very talented company celebrating their 40th year in style.

Plumpton village hall is a beautiful setting and I have enjoyed many evenings there over the past few years, however never have I laughed so much while thoroughly enjoying a production as I did for Adeventure in Pantoland.

The six principal leads of the piece were fabulous. Duncan Taylor-Jones lead from the front with panache and fantastic engagement with his audience as The Fool, with a razor sharp quick wit and charming delivery that not only made the most of the comedy but injected plenty of spontaneous additions. As a director he also provided his fellow cast with plenty of clever staging and the flow of the show was excellent. Dame, Charlie Wycherley, was a tour de force of anti-feminine abandon, the perfect dame and foil with an impressive range of accents and character delivery. Principal boy, Hannah Kirby, gave a bright and spritely delivery in each of the principal boy roles and sung beautifully in each of the numbers she featured in. Similarly Annabel Saunders was an equally captivating love interest for our hero and showed off a stunning singing voice as well as wooing the entire audience with her radiant smile and personality. Together Annabel and Hannah had a magical chemistry befitting the enchantment, fantasy and sparkle that are vital ingredients of all good pantomimes.

Nancy Doyle's pace as the welsh-wiz Fairy left everyone as breathless as the puff of smoke delivering her entrances and again captured the imagination and support of the audience from the youngest to the young at heart. Just as enthralling, but with the opposite effect, baddies Marelanne Cole, The terribly wicked Witch, and David Rankin, her imposing apprentice, garnered the perfect amount of boo's and hisses ["no madam, where are you going, I said go for a boo and a hiss" possibly the funniest panto gag I have heard this year!].

The remaining company were all equally on form and delivered a slick, perfect paced, music packed show supported brilliantly by a fabulous five piece band. The dance numbers were fresh, inventive and suited both the production and cast abilities perfectly while remaining highly appealing.

The technical department also provided excellent support with bright, colourful and appropriate lighting and a superb clarity of sound considering that there were no radio microphones just boundary's. The set and properties were as spot on and slick as the follow spots themselves and the crew managed them with pace and deftly quiet scene changes. However particular mention must go to Jo Saunders and her team for the abundance of colourful and beautiful costumes. With so many different pantomimes to journey through it would have been easy to use a base costume and augment, however it seemed like every one of the fifty plus strong cast had multiple changes. This looked simply spectacular and put the finishing sparkle to an all round top draw production.

Plumpton Pantomime Society are clearly a friendly community group with regulars who continue to draw on and develop each season from their previous successes. Their fouty years of experience certainly showed and bodes incredibly well for a bright future and the next forty.