|Date||22nd January 2020|
|Venue||Lister Hall, Dursley|
|Type of Production||Pantomime|
|Musical Director||Robert Andrews|
Author: Dee Way
This well-loved story requires sumptuous costumes, good scenery and a touch of magic to come alive. I am very happy to say that this was a very well directed show with excellent visual magic, wonderful characters and excellent live music that fulfilled these requirements completely.
The Direction was very well planned with good continuity and some unexpected characterisations. The story line was clear and well portrayed throughout, with a time machine used towards the end to transport the show to a more modern era, with references to Dr Who and Austin Powers among others. The adaptation of words to various songs was very well done and fitted the story line beautifully. Indeed, the melding of story, sound, lighting and scenery with the onstage action was excellent throughout the show.
The scenery was excellent. The dramatic tone of the set reflected the onstage drama well, with the cave feeling dark and gloomy and the palace feeling light and airy. The set changes were very slick and well timed, with good use made of the cloths and gauze. The portrayal of the flying carpet was very well done while the reinvention of the washing machine as a time machine was most creative!
The music was lively and well played, with a good choice of songs and mood music. This gave an excellent platform for the dancers to perform on. The lighting was excellent, with very good cueing throughout the show. Sound was also excellent, very well timed and with a nice level of volume.
The costumes were wonderful. It is really hard to believe that all of them are made in house, especially Catnip the Genie’s pink suit. The makeup and wigs were equally good, creating totally believable oriental characters as well as a lovely dame in Widow Twan kee, a wonderful villain in Abanazar, and Loaver the Dog as the Hairy God Mother.
However, the highest credit must go to the cast, who brought the story to life so vividly. Everyone played their role with conviction and energy, with good singing and script delivery. There were some lovely duets and solo songs, with well-adapted words to fit the storyline, while the larger numbers were very well choregraphed and beautifully presented.
Altogether this was an exceptionally good show that was highly inventive in its content and very well performed by all. All the departments worked very well together and the level of teamwork within the whole production was excellent. The costumes were superb, and with the added factors of wigs and makeup, the creation of fabulous characters only then required the full commitment of the cast to make this an outstanding show.