An Evening of Cabaret & Comedy

Date 23rd September 2023
Society Woodchurch Players
Venue Woodchurch Village Hall
Type of Production Concert
Director Ann Tiplady & Lynne Andrews Asst. Nicola Davy
Musical Director Mike Heading
Choreographer Emma Rouke


Author: Anne Lawson

The hall looked more like a night club set with tables of 8 individual central lights changing colour. The stage was back projected as a well-stocked bar and dressed in small movable curved  side bar with  stools ready for the entertainment. The real bar was available in the side room with sound and lighting desk at the rear of the hall and raffle table at the entrance.

Ten items were performed during Act 1 with 7 in Act 2 – a good mix of entertainment balanced and co-ordinated with well-rehearsed solos, duets, chorus numbers, dancing, and comedy sketches from both the adult and younger members of the Players under the joint direction Ann, Lynne, Mike and Emma. A very good collaboration. ‘Get Happy’ slick cabaret opening got us in the mood. As usual accompanying music was managed by Eliot Gannon who also produced the souvenir programme. Use of personal mikes certainly gives the younger performers more confidence, but they too must learn not to totally rely upon them and to project their words. Tim Nolan was once again enjoying the challenge of technology, working his magic with lighting effects and accompanying back projection of rain for ‘Singing in the Rain’ and a number of beautiful male bodies raining down  during ‘Raining with Men’ which was brilliant.  Other exciting surprises came in the form of Cinderella’s carriage during a most amusing sketch potted version, a children’s play area and bursting fireworks for the finale ‘Medley’.

Lazy Bee sketches were chosen and a wonderful am dram scenario was staged with two old hands vying for a part and exchanging some choice remarks to end up both getting a part – one the front end and one the back end of the panto cow! I learned that the author who had penned this delightful sketch Jack Hutchison was actually sitting at the table in front of me!

Costumes and  accessories were Karen Steven’s remit and they were of quality, appropriate with good colourful combinations. Linking all the items together was hard working Nicola Davy noticeable in her high visibility jacket and sometimes hard hat. She was efficient and quick with furniture and prop changes and I loved her asides to the audience.

According to my calculations there were 18 performers, and I cannot name you individually but thank you all for the great effort in putting on such an enjoyable evening’s entertainment. 

I had hospitable company on my table including two young lads with their Grandad who loved every minute and Beau sitting next to me, was obviously star struck as he wants to be in your panto, so I told I’d be there to watch him!

Between Acts the Catering Crew Christie Woolard and Lynne Andrews with a team of helpers produced a most enjoyable supper of Jacket Potatoes accompanied by hot baked beans, beautiful carved ham, cheese and coleslaw all very slickly served. The sweet was wicked – a tempting delicious varieties of gateaux and then a ‘Simply’ ice-cream! After my thankyous and farewell my final important job was to check out the raffle on my way out and yes I had won – a very large car cleaning foam sponge and a coffee and cake voucher courtesy of the Old Post Office Coffee Shop, so I shall be back!