Date 23rd November 2016
Society Ponteland Repertory Society
Venue The Memorial Hall, Ponteland
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Carole Davies (action by Jonny Woollett)
Musical Director Jonny Woollett
Choreographer Sarah Blythe


Author: Michael Avery

This is my first pantomime this Winter.  Ponteland always present entertaining and engaging shows.  Firstly, however, I would like to say how attractive the backcloths were.  They may have been hired in but, if not, they were really impressive and set up each scene beautifully. Much thought had obviously gone into them; most colourful and appropriate.

It’s a pleasure to see a stage filled with children and young people.  Based upon my eyesight and the programme, there seemed to be five or six adults on stage, in a company of thirty.  Some youngsters occasionally seemed a little overawed by the proceedings and this, from time to time, showed.   It was, however, totally outweighed by the enthusiasm of the entire cast.  Even when a curtain failed to appear or a moustache fell off, it became a humorous part of proceedings.  Similarly, when poor Widow Twanky (Jason Long) crashed off a scooter into some unoccupied, seats in the auditorium, it must have stung but he picked himself up and made it part of the next scene.  This was opening night.  I am sure these slight glitches were sorted by Wednesday evening.

Jonny Woolett (Ananazar), a consummate performer, was a hit with the audience and the children in the cast.  He exhibited malign charm which occupied the whole stage whenever he was on ie.most of the time. Gill Thompson and Sarah Blythe played the two policemen (Sgt. Sour and PC Sweet) to great effect and to the amusement of the audience.  Matthew Long and Matthew Nicolson, who played Wishee Washee and Aladdin respectively, were amusing and carried the story along well.  Still both young, I feel sure they will both mature into very useful performers.  There was much in the way of glittery costumes which, together with those backcloths, helped make the show sparkle.  Wishee Washee’s appearance towards the end in a silver lame flapper dress, black wig and pink boa was a little disconcerting, but in a good way.

The amazing thing is the show involved two teams.  I saw “Tuesday’s team”.  There were another twenty-two youngsters waiting to do their stuff as “Wednesday’s team”.  Ponteland Rep. is, clearly, looking towards the future, building up a company of young people to populate their shows for a long time to come.  I wish them luck with that and look forward to my next invitation.