Happy Ever After

Date 11th January 2014
Society Orchard Players
Venue Capel St Mary Village Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Damien Laverty
Musical Director Maria King
Choreographer Bex Nicholls


Author: Ann Platten

A very different script and innovative story line where all the “baddies” really want to be good.  Written and Directed by Damien Laverty assisted by Giles Meehan.

Giles also composed all the songs in the show. This was a first production and a very interesting story line with all the favourite characters from all the Pantomime characters with a dash of Nursery Rhyme characters to boot.

John Hoskyns as Mother Molly Mary Moo Mud Pie (Yes that was her name) was excellent with some very flamboyant costumes and worked the audience well.

There were too many named characters to mention each and every one but I would like to comment on Bex Nicholls as Buttons and Sandie Finbow as The Wicked Witch. Both got right into their characters and worked hard at the interpretations.

With a brand new script and songs it took a while to get all the characters sorted. A lot of the “inhouse” humour would have been appreciated more when seeing it a second time round.

I did think Act 1 was overlong, finishing with a rather long song which might need looking at, from Giles, to see if it could be shortened perhaps?

Costumes in general were bright and attractive but there was rather a mixed bag with some characters.  A little more attention on hemlines and tidy looking costumes is always best checked before going on to the stage, and would have given a more professional look.

There were a few times in the performance I attended when cast on the stage were kept waiting for other cast to come on and carry on with the story.   This really needed to be slicker to keep the pace flowing.

The singing was pleasant and most of the cast know all the words.I say most as there was one or two who really needed to have worked harder at words and movements.

It  can be very useful to young people who have not been in a show before to be given help through the process with the transition from rehearsal room to stage.  It is a very different when first on a stage, with nerves etc., and a hall full of people watching you; and it is important that the younger members are given confidence, a little gentle advice re stage rules usually works.

All in all though I commend both Damien and Giles for all their work and with a bit of tweeking here and there this will be a great show for other groups  to consider in the future.

As always a really warm welcome on our arrival and it was good to meet up with you all again.

I look forward to your next production.