National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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Hansel and Gretal by Dominique and Matt Norris


3rd February 2012


Yaxley Amateur Players


Yaxley Public Hall

Type of Production



Dominique and Matt Norris

Musical Director

Nil by Mouth


Amanda Bryant, Debbie Barker and Christine Akrill


Author: Don McKay

We received a warm welcome from the Front of House team and settled down with an almost full house for Dominique and Matt Norris’s version of Hansel & Gretel. This was a cleverly written traditional Panto script with contempory references and up to date gags. The open stage displayed a colourful set designed by David Griffin, that later went on to reveal some very nice cloths, both full and slashed, that were all complemented very well with the lighting, also by David Griffin, and sound by Sam Gollings. The costumes by David Griffin were very good and very colourful, however some were better than others, and the difference unfortunately, was apparent.. We were told the story of Hansel & Gretel, played well by Joseph Coles and Kristina Burns, who are lured into the witches house to be put into the cooking pot for dinner. Unfortunately Joseph was taken ill during the interval and had to be replaced by Aggie Dolan, who stepped out of chorus and did an admirable job in the part. The four Witches, played by Diane Pickett, Laura Griffin, Christine Akrill and Debbie Barker had just the right mix of comedy and malevolence. Matt Norris was a suitably charming but nasty Sheriff of Nottingham, with Amanda Bryant, Rachael Godfrey, Jon Griffin, Peter Moorhouse and Roly Pickett as Robin Hood, Maid Marion, Little John, Will Scarlet and Friar Tuck. Tiddles, the witch’s cat, was played deviously by Malcolm Scott who looked great in his costume and makeup. Matt Rowbottom and Dominique Norris played Walter and Ava, and provided the romance, as their relationship blossomed from employer and employee, to husband and wife. Stuart Griffin and Claire Rowbottom were both excellent as comedy “chav” brother and sister, Bruno and Carla. Eric Akrill played a great Dame, as Delia the Scottish Cook and Anthony Stephenson coped very well with the full body and face costume, in the role of Melvin the Crow. The little sketch of the Three Bears played by Roly Pickett, Peter Moorhouse and Jon Griffin, had the youngsters rocking with laughter in their seats. “The Children in the house” all did a good job of portraying their individual characters. The Chorus did a great job with the varied selection of songs, and inentive Choreography by Amanda Bryant, Debbie Barker and Christine Akrill, who managed to get a good deal of movement on a small stage. Music provided by “Nil by Mouth” was generally good, there were sound issues in the overture, but they were quickly resolved. Direction by Dominique and Matt Norris was very good, with fluid movement throughout, minimal blackouts, and scene changes quickly managed by the Stage Crew of Joseph Pickett, Debbie Barker and Amanda Bryant.