Clara's Dream

Date 20th October 2021
Society Magna Drama Group
Venue Credenhill Community Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Betty Morris
Choreographer Laura Gwynne
Music Steffi Ellis

Report

Author: Bruce Wyatt

This was my first visit to Magna and the Credenhill Community Hall. On arrival I was invited with all others to place my ticket on a Christmas tree at the rear of the hall, which gave a clue for the setting of “Clara’s Dream”, on Christmas Eve. First impressions were good; some strident opening music and a colourful well painted simple set. We were introduced to ‘Herr Drosselmeyer’ the toy maker, well played by Paul Oliver.

Clara’s Dream follows a young girl who falls a sleep at her parents Christmas Eve party and through her imaginative dream, conjures up all the guests into a fairy-tale land of sweets. Clara does not really want to grow up but is given a nutcracker by her god-father which gets damaged and we follow its journey.

In-fact all the characters were well portrayed, their strengths capitalised by Betty Morris as writer and director. Both ‘Mama’ (Laura Gwynne) and ‘Papa’ (David Jones) were expressive with good presence and were well supported by Hilary Jones (‘Frau Kron’), Catherine Donativo (‘Aunt Lisle’) and Katie Gwynne (‘Maria Zimmerman’). Stephanie Ellis must have been disappointed not to play ‘Frau Kretchma’, but Betty did an admiral job standing in with two days-notice.

All the youngsters performed well. Only occasionally the temptation to speak upstage couldn’t be resisted but I am sure that will be resolved with experience. I was impressed with Amelia Pietraszewska who with a lovely smile played ‘Clara’ and Megan Boardman as ‘Fritz / Prince Nikita’. Both gave strong performances and spoke up well.  The remaining Kron family (Erin Mahon, Layla Whitefoot & Tavia Workman) and the Kretchma family (Eva Craddock, Freya Watkins & Imogen Edgar) – beautifully matching hair – all gave good support together with Amelia Watkins as ‘Eric Drosselmeyer’ and Dan Hoskins as ‘Herr Zimmerman’.

I enjoyed the unaccompanied singing of ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ and the dance between the rodents and soldiers was well carried out. The acrobatic dancing in Act 2 was impressive and Katie Gwynne as the ‘Sugar Plum Fairy’ was especially delightful.

The costumes were beautiful and I like it when attention is also given to appropriate footwear. For the first time in this production, the stage had been extended with rostra and steps and this worked well. Lighting and sound added to an enjoyable evening with which all involved should be proud. Thank you for the opportunity to attend ‘Clara’s Dream’.

Bruce Wyatt