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Beauty and the Beast

Date

19th January 2018

Society

North Ormesby Minstrels

Venue

Trinity Community Centre

Type of Production

Pantomime

Director

Marie Turnbull

Choreographer

various

Report

Author: Jean Scarlett-Carr

The opening number with chorus and singers and Laura Weir as the ‘Rose Fairy’ who had very good diction gave a scene with lovely choreography that was well designed and well danced with drilled discipline.

The two main characters of ‘Beauty’, played by Alice Maenami, and the ‘Beast’, played by Tom Milton, were both excellently portrayed with characterisation of opposite polarity. Alice gave a soft sweet innocence and Tom a loud menacing animalistic role, and yet the two came together beautifully. Both had great singing and Alice sang and danced through several songs with such energy and facial expression she was a joy to behold. 

These two were then ably aided by other roles with Matthew Allen playing ‘Count Danton’ as the sop who became the villain effectively, Jeff Sturdy as the lovable "cuddly" ‘French Franc’ who also sang nicely, Marty Maenami as the comic ‘Loopy Louis’, who also had the energy and spirit to roust the audience.  The ‘Countess de Colombe’ as mother of Count Danton was well played by Karen Cotes, and the father of Beauty, ‘Doctor Panache’ was played by Ged Kirkbright.  The dame was once again played by Jill Stephenson as the cook ‘Dame Dora’ and with her chaotic style had the audience in shrieks of laughter and played with lovely interactions in the audience, and is obviously and deservedly well loved by all. 

The static open set was a good design in traditional panto art style, well painted, and worked well throughout. The lighting effects were colourful, atmospheric and well operated. 

Sound mics worked well all evening though a little unbalanced during songs. Music was well chosen with a wide range of pop songs through the ages to modern, musical numbers and children’s nursey songs to give variety and all played loud enough for all and yet comfortable to listen.  The chorus were all good in their characters and choreography that was rehearsed well in their many varied numbers, with the costumes adding a colourful addition to all scenes.  The accompanying programme was designed nicely and a pleasure to read.

This panto had all the elements expected with audience interactions, arguing back and forth, competition singing, ghost chase, slapstick custard pies, and sword fighting, yet with added individuality of projected screen scenes and fluorescent props for a lovely “dinner” scene. The cast was all involved throughout the evening and a great age range from tiny tot cute bears, through teenage and youthful dancers and upto the stalwart soldiers on duty providing a great comedy moment. The closing finale was an executed dazzlement of colour and song that was beautifully contrasted to a moving and respectful tribute to a recently lost member.

Once again North Ormesby Minstrels gave a totally enjoyable evening, well done Director Marie Turnbull and all involved.