Date 21st January 2016
Society Plumpton Pantomime Society
Venue Plumption Village Hall
Type of Production Panto
Director Duncan Taylor-Jones
Musical Director Jo taylor
Choreographer Kate Taylor, Duncan Taylor Jones & Carol Grant


Author: Lance Milton

From the opening line from Emma Symes as the lovely fairy godmother, the one thing that stood out more than anything about the Plumpton pantomime was just how much everyone was enjoying being on stage. The smiles were are wide as the repertoire, with super catchy song choices from across the decades, wonderfully delivery vocally and ably backed by the fabulous five piece band.

Director Duncan Jones was as fortunate to have such a hilarious script by, Stage Manager, John Fahey as he was to have himself to cast in the vitally popular role of Buttons, a part he delivered perfectly. He had the adults in the audience eating out of his hands as much as the younger members and his comic timing and huge boundless energy was perfect. It must have been a joy to work opposite Annabel Sanders again, as Cinderella, as she exudes charm, fluidity and energy and was the perfect choice for the title principal girl role.

Nancy Doyle was an uncharacteristic female dame, but once she arrived on stage it was clear why this traditionally male role was cast as female as she was the ultimate femme fatale, something that just would not have worked if played by a man. She certainly had Peter Jones, a sweet but frustrated Baron Hardup, just where she wanted him - firmly under the thumb and downtrodden. Olivia Meheux and Hannah Collins made for a wonderful duo of principal boys in the role of Prince Charming and Dandini, thigh slapping a plenty and gallant as required for the key roles. Once again the smiles and interaction with the audience left us in no doubt of their deft delivery being born out of sheer and utterly infectious enjoyment.

However the show stealers were David Rankin and Paul Kluge as ugly sisters Nausea and Septica, who slayed the audience with impromptu ad libs and the presence of character that makes the difference between good panto dames and a couple of blokes in dresses. Their work together was seamlessly impeccable and interaction with others, particularly Buttons, hilarious and such a joy to behold.

The lighting, sound and technical support was first class as were the self constructed sets designed by Alison Taylor and leant a fitting canvass for the immersive story, as did the superb costumes by Jo Saunders and team.

The ensemble all had little cameos and my daughter Emily and I particularly loved the addition of Little Red Ridding Hood finding herself in the middle of the wrong pantomime. Junior chorus members choreographed by Carol Grant beamed as much as the adult cast and topped off what was excellent dance numbers and an all round lovely show.

Plumpton have clearly hit on a winning production team and it was lovely to see so many faces in the same roles as the last show and let's face it - when it is working this well, why change it!