Hercules the Pantomime
18th January 2019
St James Players
St James Parish Hall
Type of Production
Author: Eddie Regan
This was my first visit to this Society and I was looking forward to meeting all involved.This Pantomime was Written and Directed by Andrew Croft one of the Society members.
The script was innovative, exclusive and imaginative and it was clear that a great deal of research had taken place. I believe that Andrew Croft had always been inspired by the Greek Myths and he has focused on the exploits of Hercules ( Heracles) and his Labours. This was not an easy concept to put across to the audience but the cast worked so well together to make the characters come alive and to, not only, bring out the serious side but also to bring out the “ Pantomime” humour.
The Prologue at Mount Olympus was very dramatic as Zeus, Peter Mounsey, and Hera, Kathleen Cann, opened up the story and immediately we realized it was good against evil as Hera jealously plotted against Hercules and she was immediately quite rightly, booed.There were many good performances. Holly Cook as Hercules, commanded the stage at all times and clearly understood her role as the hero of the piece. Her Diction and Projection were first class. Eileen Murray as Persephone ( and other roles) showed her experience and stage presence. Mark Couperthwaite as Cupid and Chiron showed great comic timing and his experience was obvious to see, whilst Bryan Pilkington as Dame Venus had a good rapport with the audience. Gabriella Michalakakos as Jocasta and Grace Davies as Eris are two young actors who appeared very confident and had natural abilities. It will be interesting to follow their progress in future Productions. It was encouraging to see the wide range of age and experience among the cast which augurs well for the Society.
Robin Stopford, Musical Director was very impressive on keyboard, which was only to be expected. Robin is a consummate Professional.
Well done for the very simple but effective staging with good lighting and sound effects, which was a highlight of the evening. I really enjoyed some of the sound effects provided by Technical Director, Neil Hooson.
I do feel strongly that members of the cast should remove make-up and costumes before entering the hall at the end of the Production. This spoils the atmosphere created by all on stage.I thought that the plot was quite complicated and I feel it could have been simplified in places to allow a quicker pace.
Having said that my wife and I had a really enjoyable evening and we hope to see many more of your future Productions.Thank you for your very warm welcome.Hercules T