Once Upon a Time-The Panto

Date 12th November 2016
Society Aldridge Musical Comedy Society
Venue Great Wyrley School Theatre
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Mark Nicholls
Musical Director Mark Bayliss
Choreographer Sarah Hemming


Author: Brian Hirst

A strong story, witty libretto, stunning costumes, good singing and slick choreography all combined to make this a pantomime worth seeing. My only criticism is that it was too long. The cast were divided into Heroes and Villains and a clever idea was to have Act 1 of the programme featuring the heroes and Act 2 featuring the villains but the programme was turned upside down so started from the back.

It is impossible to mention every one by name as it was a large cast and every one of them was well cast. I must, however, compliment young Maggie Bell (Alice), Amelia Critchley (Joy), Amelie Williamson (Elsa), Rebecca Oatley (Tinkerbell) and James Carter (Peter Pan).They were delightful on stage and spoke their words clearly and with confidence. There was some strong singing throughout in solos, duets, ensembles and chorus including an excellent duet from Phantom of the Opera sung by Hattie Sketchley-Bates and Chris Parry. I was also impressed by the ladies ensemble in their presentation of ‘Spell Block Tango. Kerry Flint and Ian Kendrick were superb as the stereotypical Ugly Sisters. Alexander Nicholls gave an amazing performance as the Mad Hatter with his puppet the March Hare.

There was some good harmony singing from the chorus particularly in the a capella rendering of O Holy Night. There were several dance styles in the show and all of them confidently carried out. Praise must be given to Sarah Carter for the design, planning and in many cases the making of the impressive costumes.

There was a good lighting plot and the whole was supported very sympathetically by the 3 piece band. Well done to everyone involved!