Beauty and the Beast

Date 14th January 2017
Society Orchard Players
Venue Capel St Mary Village Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Lynn Perera
Musical Director Maria King
Choreographer Emma Cole & Bex Nicholls


Author: Ann Platten

A very ambitious production for a company of this, size but one which the Orchard Players drove through with some interesting scenes,characters and interpretations.

We had the usual Goodies versus the Baddies, and a junior chorus of around 20 young people who excelled in dance and enthusiasm towards the production.

Supported by some adult members the singing was very tuneful.

The solo performance by Steph Porter as the Rose Fairy started the story off really well.A sweet performance by Steph, dressed beautifully as were all the cast throughout the show.

 The costumes from the super talented team of Julie Wardley, Cheryll Burton and assistants were as always terrific.    A delight of colour, all well fitting and attractive. I must commend the Wardrobe team for all their work and attention to detail.

Now to the main cast, Emma Cole as Beauty, Bev Nicholls as the Beast, Cheryll Burton as Horrindana, Lauren Broom as Charlie, James Finbow as Prince Rowan, Richard Cavanagh as Madam Lotte and so the the list goes on with many supporting characters all working so well together.

 So many different characters to comment on but “star stand out “ performances by Bex as the Beast with one of the high spots in the show in her solo “Who will love me as I am” performed with such emotion.   I loved it!

Lauren as Charlie gave her all and more, a real talent here and one I hope we see many more times, perfect timing, action and 100% on top of the character. Terrific!!

Emma as Beauty looked the part, and gave touching performances in scenes with the Beast, and her Father Panisse, played very well by Pearl Attwood.

It was good to see Cheryll playing a “baddie” in Horridana, and as always her songs were well sung and the character well played.

Here and there one or two lapses in some of the dialogue from one or two cast members which slowed the pace. and I would have liked even more interaction from Madam Lotte with the audience.

Maddy Moyo playing Fifi, a very saucy character, surely should have had a french accent which would have added so much more to the fun of the part.

James as Prince Rowan was quite a serious chap, a little more light and shade in his dialogue would have added more to this dashing character.

I liked Molly as Thomas who gave a confidence to the role.

Most of the songs were well chosen, but “Come to the Fair” was not as joyous as it could have been and needed more of a swing to lift it.

The young chorus did so well with the choreography and most of them looked happy and involved.

There were a few gaps in between scene changes which needed speeding up, especially before scene 6, when there was a long wait for the curtain to go up.

Lighting was very good and sound generally,with a few crackling mike’s here and there.   Great sets very colourful and bright.

When on stage, everyone needs to be aware with Pantomimes, there will be shout out’s from the audience which can be difficult, and it is good if just one or two characters on stage such as the Dame or similar ad libs with comments back.   If too many get involved it spoils the standard of the show.

The orchestra under Maria King did really well in supporting the songs and kept a lively pace. The songs tended to be jolly and were good, the one or two slower gentle songs were a direct change in tempo’s and gave another dimension to the production.

All in all a very good Panto and one which the audience enjoyed very much.

I always enjoy my visits to Capel, thank you for your warm welcome on FOH and also meeting up with production members and committee, much appreciated.