National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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18th January 2018


St Michaels Amateur Dramatic Society


St Michaels Church Hall

Type of Production



Ian Field


Suzanne Howard


Author: Christine Hunter Hughes

Many congratulations on demonstrating such a great example of community theatre in action and entertaining your audiences with a great example of a real traditional pantomime with some lovely twists.  I would not dream of arguing with Roy Hudd, who penned the forward for your programme, and who says “Panto is the ultimate ‘team show” and you demonstrated that – in spades in your production.  Congratulations also on your 60 years of pantomime, and if this was an example to base on, here’s to the next sixty years. 

The set was bright and colourful as were the majority of the costumes and the brightness of the costumes and scenery was matched only by the happy smiling faces of the cast, which makes such a difference, everyone looked as if they were really enjoying themselves so, of course, the audience did as well – it would have been impossible not to!

Somewhat unusually for me, just a quick note on the make-up, for the most part it was excellent especially Rubella and Salmonella, but unfortunately, the titular character looked something of an unhealthy colour in comparison with the rest of the cast.

I loved the running joke of Ruben in a very smart ‘school uniform’ what made it work so very well was the reaction of the rest of the cast when he wandered across the stage – their facial expressions really were a joy to behold and really made the business work well.  Often these running jokes go on too long so that the audience get tired of it – definitely NOT in the case here due to appearances not being too frequent and the wonderful reaction of the entire cast when they were!

The ‘horses’ for Post Horn Gallop were just SO funny and so well thought out.  I do have one suggestion that I believe would improve the entire show and that would be live music – a keyboard player or similar would eliminate the long pauses which inevitably come with ‘canned’ music at the beginning and end of songs – either that or script some appropriate movement to cover introductions and endings.  Watch also that eye-contact on stage is character appropriate particularly if things have gone a little awry.

The above points are quite minor in the scheme of things as, taken as a whole, it was very funny and enjoyable for cast and audience alike.  You certainly carried your audience with you – every single step of the way their appreciation was demonstrated very vocally, even the children were fully engaged and there is no tougher audience than children.

Very many congratulations to you all, cast, crew and production team alike for such a fine example of a traditional pantomime, and once more on your diamond jubilee, and long may you continue to entertain your audiences so royally.