National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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26th November 2017


Young Expressions


Ingatestone Community Theatre

Type of Production



Louise Hunt

Musical Director

Not credited


Erin Simpson


Author: Tessa Davies

Once again, it is such a pleasure to see this company’s Christmas pantomime.  The young cast were all extremely enthusiastic and they all played their parts well.  There were a lot of young people on stage, it is so nice to see that the company can attract so many young people to perform.

The choreography was excellent, the cast were very well drilled, I have seen adult performances where the dancers were not as good at keeping time as these young people.  Choreographer Erin Simpson and Director Louise Hunt have done a superb job in bringing these young people to such a high standard.

There was a large cast of Principals and I do like to give them all a mention.  Amelia Aston-Jobin (Cinderella) and Elena Noguchi (Prince Charming) were delightful, James Ravenscroft (Chantelle) and Ben Shipley (Jordan) were terrific as the two ugly sisters.  Rose Whitwam (Baroness Hardup) and George Knight (Baron Hardup) made a great double act.  Ruben De Goni-Parks (King) and Poppy Edwards (Queen) made another good double act and Ellie Whitwam (Grabbit) and Ewan Noguchi (Scarper) made the third double act.  All three couples worked well together.   Ella Fowle (Dandini) Charlotte Fowle (Fairy Godmother) and Harry Hodey (Herald) almost complete the principal line-up but there is one person I have missed out. 

Jorji Mersey was simply outstanding as Buttons.  He has a wonderful sense of timing, so essential in a pantomime and his performance was worthy of special praise. I just loved it every time he came on stage.

Add to these 14 Principals, an ensemble of 22 more and you can see why I was so impressed with the size of the company.  The theatre has a very small stage and not much room backstage either so everyone, including the crew, did wonders to get everyone on and off stage and all the scenery in the right place at the right time.

The scenery was simple but very effective and the costumes were absolutely lovely.  Lighting and sound were also well managed.

A great start to my Christmas celebrations, well done to all and thank you for inviting me.