Date 21st January 2017
Society Ellesmere Port Original Pantomime Company
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Gail Roberts
Musical Director Carly Dallen
Choreographer Sue Hickman-Germon


Author: Budge Grounsell

There are two special reasons  for enjoying  an evening with this Society. The show itself, always a treat and the special awards ceremony  following the performance when  both playing and backstage members are rewarded for services to the Group. Relatives and friends are there in abundance as well as cast members and it is not only wonderful way of bringing support to the current  membership but encourages a new generation to fulfill Noda’s aim of bringing a shared voice to the amateur theatre sector.

As for the show itself; splendid. The production team of Director Gail Roberts, M.D Carly Dallen and Choreographer Sue Hickman-Germon  combined to bring  all the artistic elements together and present their audience with  a fine evening’s entertainment.

The Society are fortunate to have a strong set of principles who keep the action flowing and enjoy the fun of a traditional pantomime. Sharon Albino  (Spirit of the ring) took this role and turned it on it’s head. This was a completely  different interpretation  from the norm and she was well supported by her would be husband the Genie of the lamp (Andy Nickson).  Chris Pacitti  is an extremely experienced and convincing actor and proved it in his role as “Ave a banana” ands Ian Deveraux-Roberts took on the part of Wishee Washee with his usual skill which is considerable to say the least.  Widow Twanky (Alex McGonagle) proved to be a surprise.being young and slim but none the less effective for that.  This may well set the trend for “dames” in the future if this fine performance is anything to go by.

I suspect  that the aforementioned characters are the ones we mostly think of  in pantomime terms but let us not forget the others who are so pertinent to the plot. The eponymous hero Aladdin (Sheryl Dean) coupled with Princess Yasmine(Ciera Evans) The Policemen ,always a favourite, Barry Hickman-Germon and Chris Jones; Zing Zong ( Liz Legerton) and the Emperoer with his Vizier (Andy Lowe and Karen Fellows.  It is a measure  of the Society’s success  that  people of this calibre  are producing characterisationss of this quality.

It is good to see such a considerable Junior  Chorus who will hopefully go on to be  the backbone of the Society in the coming years and they with their Senior counterparts are a vital ingredient in any show.

There are of course an army of background people who provide wonderful support for those in the stage spotlight./ Stage crew, Wardrobe, Sound and lighting, Props and a host of others  who make such a vital contribution.. Budge