Mother Goose

Date 30th January 2020
Society Tollesbury Amateur Players
Venue The Centre Tollesbury
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Joanne Smith


Author: Christine Davidson

It was lovely to return this year to see Tollesbury Amateur Players at their village hall. This year their pantomime was Mother Goose directed by Joanne Smith and Assisted by Gill Summers.  Joanne had chosen a pantomime that the audience could get totally immersed in. From the start the amount of detail for the sets and costumes was evident. Looking at the programme, I could see that a lot of people had been responsible; six gentlemen for the set build and six people for the specialist scene painting. Visually the sets were stunning with imaginative charming village and mountain scenery giving the audience a colourful spectacle. This must have been a huge undertaking, which was very much appreciated by all the local audience.  The costumes also were excellent with a Norwegian flavour and lovely geese characters on Mother Gooses’ costumes.
The show opened with the evil Troll Smorg and the Fairy Aurora on the front tabs.  Fairy Aurora played by Alison Murray spoke clearly in rhyme and gave us a delightful portrayal as did the evil Smorg who soon had the audience booing.  Both had superb costumes and looked the roles.
The tabs opened to the cast singing ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’, In Christmas jumpers which Mother Goose was trying to sell. This was an excellent rousing number to open the show. 
Mother Goose played by Ian Clark was fun to watch. Some wonderful costumes and wigs for each scene and a great transformation when she goes into the Bog of Beauty.  I loved the easy way he had with all the cast especially when he forgot his lines as did a lot of the cast so Prompt Marian Martin certainly had her work cut out, much to the delight of the audience.  I’m sure first night nerves had something to do with it but it all was very jovial.
The partnership of Freya Goose (Leanne Mullinger) her daughter and the handsome Sven Rumpensmakka (Paul Galbraith) was a good match. Their song from Herman Hermits ‘I’m into something good’ , was well sung without microphones and had the backing of three ladies who were not named in the programme.  Both had clear projection and their characterisation was good.  I did love the wallpaper scene where poor Sven got covered in water and paste. 
Heidi the Goose (Jackie Quilter)( flapped her wings and danced around the small stage and looked amazing. A huge costume which I’m sure was very hot to wear and an obvious hit with the audience.
Baron Von Rumpensmakka (John Dorsett) and his sidekick Gonk (Jonathan Salmon) were a great partnership.  The Baron had a wonderful Victorian costume and looked every bit the evil Baron with Black sideburns, moustache and black top hat.  Gonk was in Austrian lederhosen and between them the humour never stopped. They certainly had fun, especially when they were in their swan rubber rings running around the audience. 
 I have to say one of the highlights for me was the dance between the Baron and Mother Goose when they sang ‘Shaking all over’. I don’t think I have ever seen anything quite like that before! 
The Grand High Snow Goose (Allison Taylor) was commanding on stage if a little nervous with her lines. Cuckoo Clock (Sue Felstead) and Moose (Tina Spivey) were fun additions in the haunted hunting cabin and Boss Snowman was great in his Top Hat and Bowtie commanding his troop of Snowmen.
There were lovely performances by Young TAP as Trolls, Snowmen and Geese which added to the production. They all looked like they were enjoyed being on the stage and were a joy to watch.
Lighting and sound were suitable for the production despite a couple of missed sound cues and the choreography was well thought out.
This was a fun panto which all the audience enjoyed. Well done to everyone who was part of the production and I look forward to seeing your next show.