|Date||21st February 2017|
|Society||Shavington Village Festival Committee|
|Type of Production||Pantomime|
|Musical Director||Jenny Collis-Smith|
Author: Christine Hunter Hughes
Pantomime at the Shavington seems to be something of an institution and although this was my first venture to Shavington it really was pleasure to throw oneself wholeheartedly into the heady atmosphere of family fun, music, colourful antics and lively entertainment. The additional sheen that Shavington Village Festival Committee is the total inclusivity of the cast – from the young to the young at heart, it was evident that we, as the audience, were included in a large ‘family’ whose sole aim was to entertain – and they did – royally. The opening night, packed house awaited curtain up with a buzz of anticipation. We were not disappointed – a excellent musical trio; the scenery; the costumes; the enthusiasm from all the performers on stage – all the hallmarks of a great show were in place from the outset.
As normal, the Ugly Sisters were a firm favourite with the audience so that by the end the minute they appeared on the stage there were sniggers and giggles from the audience as a whole, and their outrageous costumes were a tribute to the many busy fingers which had gone into making them.
Throughout the production, there were some great characterisations and pleasant singing from the Pretty Fairy Godmother who opened the show, via the wicked step-mother (with an excellent vocal tone), a sweet and innocent Cinderella, through a chorus of some 49 adults and children appearing variously as villagers, small annimals, and waitresses (any anything else that was required) to the children from the audience being invited onto the stage for the ‘community sing’ and the grand finale it was an evening of pleasure, fun and entertainment which was enjoyed and appreciated by audience and cast alike.
I do want to congratulate the director and the whole cast and crew for always keeping the cast well in character there is a danger at some ‘community’ pantomimes to throw in ‘in jokes’ as asides which are often not heard (because they are not scripted) and which inevitably go over the heads of some of the audience. Not so here I am delighted to say, traditional, family, community pantomime at its best.
I understand that all the colourful costumes, set and props are made by members of the Company and the ‘war-horse-esque’ horse who pulled the golden carriage, the ‘ridiculous’ hats and headgear, the loveable ‘small animals were a testament to the, I am sure, small army of people who had so lovingly crafted them.
I loved the opening safety announcement made in absolute ‘pantomime style’ and the general attention to every detail made sure that the audience – starting from around 2 years old to the proud grandparents – were kept interested and entertained throughout.
Thank you for a super evening, and long may you continue to demonstrate so excellently ‘community theatre’ at its very best.