Babes in the Wood
18th January 2018
Norbury Theatre Droitwich
Type of Production
Tony Boardman and Anne Lane
Author: Bruce Wyatt for Andy Brown
This ‘NODA pantomime’ provided all the classic panto content you would hope for and the company of excellent principals and supporting chorus and dancers took all the opportunities it afforded.
Quickly making an impact as the less than popular ‘Sheriff of Nottingham’, Glyn Diggett triggered the appropriate reaction from the audience and so too did Alex Stallard as ‘Sir Guy of Gisborne’ in their attempt to join Sir Guy in matrimony with ‘Lady Marian Fitzwalter’ played by Charlotte Mortimer, much to her dislike. Charlotte sang well with good stage presence whilst being pursued and instead falling un-surprisingly for the noble ‘Robin Hood’ matched and played well by Sophie Davey-Over.
In true flamboyant panto style, ‘Dame Trott’ played by Andy Brown, filled the stage with colour and energy, whilst keeping a watchful eye over the Babes ‘John’ and ‘Jane’. ‘John’ (Matthew Tennant) and ‘Jane’ (Emily Tennant on my evening) both acted with ease and spoke up clearly. In the Sheriff’s attempts to ‘dispose’ of the Babes, his ‘Captain of the Guard’ John Birchley, played with amusing disinterest, was despatched to the forest, but pleasingly without any great success.
Thomas Collen (‘Much the Miller’s Son’) and Grace Duggan (‘Rosie Apple’) worked well together providing additional personality and laughs, also not forgetting ‘Dudley the Donkey’ albeit with a colour make-over, by the tap dancing duo of Carolyn Milner and Anne Lane.
The chorus were well rehearsed and the dancers provided additional variety to the overall production. Although a somewhat belated entrance to the story, Eleanor Drobek-Jenks danced well as ‘The Greenwood Fairy’ (no panto should be without one) and with statesmanlike support from Alan Nicholls as ‘King Richard’, all lived happily ever-after.
The splendid set added to the atmosphere and the cast were without exception well dressed. The audience clearly enjoyed the experience and the Directors Tony Boardman and Anne Lane, together with musical direction by Keith Lewis, and lead choreographer Kirsty Purvis are all to be congratulated.
Bruce Wyatt (For Andy Brown)