Date 14th January 2017
Society Woodchurch Players
Venue Woodchurch Memorial Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Emma Priest
Musical Director Tim Bennett, Kim Parmee & Mike Headling
Choreographer Emma Priest & Kim Parmee


Author: Anne Lawson

Programme received with a warm welcome from F of H, we made our way to C1 and 2 close enough for the action including a sprinkling of water from the rather large water pistols!

A well set out A5 programme beautifully illustrated with front cover noting a Lazy Bee Production plus NODA crest and colourful photography.

The rags-to-riches story – good versus bad and all living happily ever after, of course with lots of cracker jokes, ‘he’s behind you’, ‘oh no it’s not’ etc. a good deal of slapstick, the recipe of a family fun packed evening, not forgetting gibes referring to neighbouring village!

The usual high standard of scenery together with props were professionally created by the team. Backdrops particularly well prepared and painted notably kitchen fireplace, beams, woodland, a superb ballroom interior showing a red carpeted staircase all giving maximum effect to a relatively small stage area. The transition scene worked extremely well with swift movement whilst using back laser effects of the pumpkin changing and slick lighting, the little white mice becoming white horses with the addition of neat horseheads. The now four young technical assistants created interesting effects throughout, accurately timed with the sound well controlled - many of the cast using personal mikes accompanied by back tracks. 

The musical direction was a joint effort from Tim Bennett, Kim Parmee and Mike Headling. Good choices of appropriate numbers were enjoyed. Ann Tiplady and Lynn McGuckin did a splendid job with the costumes for the large cast using good colour combos and finishing touches. Simple villagers’ peasant costumes to the luxuriant regal outfits, the incredulous ugly sisters get ups including foot attire terrific with make-up – lashes to die for and fun wigs.

A good command of script with laughs in abundance. Daisy Fermor again excelled and guided us through the story as Buttons inviting the audience to participate on entries clutching her Cadbury’s Button packet.  The slapstick scene ‘The 12 Days of Panto’ with Rough energetically played by Jess Sacco with Max Williams as Ready was very well executed with great pie throwing on the 6th day. Pairing of Hyacinth - Richard Fair and Lowercinth - Bryan Deverall, particularly enjoyable and the exit linking timed perfectly ‘aren’t we fab’ etc.

Good versus evil well projected by a sparkling Alison Withey-Harrison and Val Smith menacing as the Baroness aided by great red lighting and supported by Adrian Williams the Baron. Mike Headling made an impressive Major Domo with assertive intros together as a beautifully attired Madam Olga white tights et all to lead the ballet class to the barre well executed with the tiny ballerinas.  Anna Hinson developed from a parrot last year to a smartly dressed Herald with attitude. To the synchronised thigh slappers namely Kim Parmee as Prince Charming and her aide Dandini aka The Director – Emma a nicely paired performance. The children were well rehearsed and obviously enjoyed themselves, not forgetting chaperones and the stage crew, usually unsung heroes.