National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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Dick Whittingdon


8th December 2017


New Buckenham Players


Village Hall, New Buckenham

Type of Production



Clive Rush

Musical Director

Billy Hoddy-Brown


Meryl Anderson


Author: Sue Dupont

Director Clive Rush promised us a traditional pantomime and with music from Billy Hoddy-Brown and choreography from Meryl Anderson, this is what we all enjoyed.

What excellent sets full of colour and atmosphere, the team responsible with the paint brushes definitely deserve congratulations, as does the wardrobe team for keeping the colour theme lively.  Must also comment on that effective underwater sequence with all the choreographed helium-ballooned fish, clever use of a small stage to give maximum impact.

Good and bad well cast with a delightful young Fairy Bow Bells Butterfly of such very good projection and diction.  And the King Rat from Bella Chirodian was everything fearful and evil (with her group of ratlets) and definitely frightened the small boy seated near me (he hid under his seat when she came into the audience).

What lovely youngsters recruited into the cast and how good their stage presence and interactions, nice vocals, and how well they put over the story: Emma Frith was everything needed in a principal boy as Dick, well matched by the very pretty Alice from Cora St.John Cooper, a delightful pair. And as Puss, with a knowing smile, Olivia Mcleod completed this excellent trio of youngsters who had style and good projection so we heard every word.

To the adults and experience showed from Jimpy Casson as Alderman in charge, from Sam Jones as a useless Idle Jack egging on the audience to join in proceedings, the return of Roger Turner from his absence due to ill health in great spirits as Captain Cod (lovely to see him again), supported by his side-kick Bosun Chips from Susie Clark; a good team effort which included cameos for Tom Nash as Sultan and Wazir Jenny Koch, and of course the ‘behind you’ Dracula of Ed Downing.

As expected the life and soul of this extravaganza, in full war paint and pushing every line to the utmost, Louise Casson once again stole every eye when on stage as Sarah, the cook complete with cake making skills to the detriment of Idle Jack.

As said, a good traditional evening at the pantomime with the whole company giving us their enthusiasm from young dancers to older chorus at full pelt and energy.