26th January 2019
The Lyric Theatre, Dinnington
Type of Production
Samantha Smedley & Kirstie Turnbull
Stage Academy Choreographer
Author: Jo Sykes
This was a great pantomime – it had all the essential ingredients with well-balanced roles and some very funny lines. There was some adult humour, but it was well masked and the children around me in the audience were having an absolute ball as were the adults, which is of course the best barometer for any pantomime production. Directors Samantha Smedley and Kirstie Turnbull did a great job as did Jonathan Wilby as Musical Director. A live band is a vital part of pantomime for me and this band lifted the musical numbers. The pace was ‘eggsellent’ and the roles were all very well cast.
Johnny Green as Dame Mother Goose gave a brilliant performance, looking and acting every bit the perfect Panto Dame. He worked well with his silly son, Billy Goose, expertly played by Ashley Booker. Together they provided so many of the panto’s funniest moments, but without spoiling the sometimes emotional story line. The ‘Baby Goose’ sing-a-long at the end was inspired and lasted just long enough for everyone to enjoy it. Squire Stoneyheart (Paul Raymond) was both funny and mean in equal measure and his kind-hearted niece, Jill, was perfectly played by Daisy Mikulik. Mikulik’s singing and dancing really stood out in all her routines and she has great stage presence. Scott Walker playing Jack Goose (Jill’s love interest) was great as the ‘hero-next-door’ and Joanne Thornewell gave a super portrayal of the somewhat overworked Prime Minister of Gooseland. Providing the required ethereal contribution was Samantha Smedley as the Queen of Gooseland and Courtney Smith as Grizelda Gold-Digger. They were a great contrast to each other and their characterisations made it clear just when we needed to boo or cheer.
Everyone on stage showed real energy and enthusiasm for this production – the chorus responded and reacted to what was happening and there were beautiful smiles from even the smallest of the dancers. Catherine Enos (Society Choreographer) had designed some super chorus routines which were very well suited to this mixed age chorus. Every performer sang and danced to full effect and the integration of the Stage Academy worked well. The dancers were excellent with their routines and costumes fitting perfectly with the numbers.
The costumes were colourful and effective and I particularly enjoyed the stunning gold and red finale. The scenery and props were again perfect for this story with good lighting and sound to keep this production very sharp. Well done to the stage crew who ensured swift changing of the scenes.
Congratulations to everyone involved – a really fun pantomime, for all ages.