Captain Hook's Revenge

Date 13th December 2013
Society Woodfield Entertainers
Venue Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Jenny Gamache
Choreographer Mel Schmidt


Author: Jon Fox

As befits its title Captain Hook is the central character in this unusual Pantomime.    It is therefore fortunate that Tim Waters as Hook was charismatic, gleefully villainous and totally right for this demanding role.   Other key parts were his hapless assistant, Smee, played with great comic timing and pathos by Neil Edwards;  Dotty Darling, the Dame part, played outrageously and gloriously whilst wearing Dame Edna spectacles by Simon Gadd;    Finally, of course, Peter Pan played with thigh slapping swagger by Hannah Chapman.    Pan was a graceful mover too, looking resplendent in green.

The Darling children, Wendy and Michael, were well played  by a pretty Laura Hillier as the girly Wendy and Amalee Gamache as a Bertie Wooster type gentleman.

Sharkey, a pirate assistant to Smee, was given comic effect and life by Elaine Denny.   Tonkerbell, the voiceless punk fairy had "Fonz" cool appeal and attitude provided by Sara Brammall who, along with Joe Bramall, provided the most effective taped music.  

The Indian Squaws - Cara Turner (Running Water), George Margetts (Owl Hooter), Brydie Forzani (Weasel foot), and Claire Webb (Waftfeather) - were prettily played and Graham Thorburn as Chief Passingwater, did well.

With Bubonic, Sandra Graves and Plague, Loraine Ratcliffe as the two rats, I wanted to take them home with me as they were so sweet, cuddly and above all, funny.  I loved them.

The crocodile in a bathtub quite stole the show for me.   Mel Schmidt is clearly a multi-talented lady as she was both choreographer and costumier.    The nonchalant way that she tossed away a human hand, presumably Captain Hook's, was impeccably timed.   Little details such as this can enhance a production.

Denise Hillier as the Old Crone of the Hill contributed a wonderful cameo.

The set was simple but effective on a stage rather larger than the average Village  Hall.    Lighting is extremely important in Pantomime and in the experienced hands of Richard Pike, it worked very well.

With simple choreography danced with enthusiasm, suitable costumes provided by Mel Schmidt and a full house on the Friday that I attended, Director Jenny Gamache must be congratulated on producing a highly successfully Panto which I thoroughly enjoyed.    The enthusiastic audience were clearly in agreement.   It was good to see that in the simple programme Woodfield Entertainers remembered to incorporate the NODA crest.   Other Societies please take note!

Sue and I would like to thank Sara Brammal for inviting us and for the warm welcome that we were accorded.