National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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9th December 2017


Ketton Players


Kedington Community Centre

Type of Production



Ella Rowsell and Robert Nicholas

Musical Director





Author: Decia Ranger

Pantomime should be full of riotous good humour with a generous helping of slapstick and a dame with outrageous costumes. Add to that a principal boy who marries his princess, plus a good sprinkling of village children dancing and singing and you have the recipe for a couple of hours of pure escapism, which is exactly what we had here.

I was so pleased to see that some choreography had been introduced into the production.  It was kept simple so as to be within everyone’s capabilities and really made a difference.

This society has some loyal and talented members whose ranks were swelled by new faces, who I do hope will continue to be a part of the company.  Despite evidence of coughs and colds amongst the cast, there were a lot of good performances.

Peter Upton as Dame Beatrice Bouffant (Trixie) was everything a pantomime dame should be. His outrageous wigs caused a lot of laughter but if I want to be picky it would be that his costumes, although varied, could have been even more over the top. Nevertheless he was greeted with laughter whenever he appeared on stage, which is how it should be.  Well done to Mathew Russell as Frankie.  He connected well with the audience, especially the younger members. Congratulations to Keziah Nicholas, the rapping Fairy Flora, who made an excellent job of reciting her words to the rhythm of the beat.  Celia Bramwell is an experienced performer and her portrayal of the wicked Gothel was excellent. She threw herself into the part as she does in all her roles.

Matthew Upton and Sue Brown were simply hilarious as Curly and Bob.  They made an excellent pairing and had the audience in fits of laughter. Very well done.  Well done also to Roy Bolton who as Captain of the Guard spent most of his time trying desperately to escape the amorous advances of Dame Trixie. 

For me there were two young people who really stood out. Charlotte Kowalski as Prince Frederick and Holly Barker as Rapunzel. Good Acting, excellent diction and projection and lovely singing voices.  Very well done.

The main characters were well supported by Gracie (Ella Rowsell), Lacie (Ruby Gatt) and Macie (Bella Abbott) who all played their parts well, as did Daniel Russell as Herald and not forgetting William Garwood who did a good job as the scary spider and really looked the part. The King and Queen, played by Gary Skinner and Kate Woolley, did not appear as confident as the other cast members but on the whole they played their roles well.

That just leaves three young people, Abigail Nicholas, Maya Hattam and Tallie Probyn, who made a nice contribution to the show as members of the chorus. 

“If I Were Not in Pantomime” sung by a line-up of the company, was an absolute hoot and had the audience in fits of laughter. Very well done to all involved. The Society always pays great attention to the scenery and the interior of the tower, especially had been very well thought out.  Having the tower itself downstage left worked well.  The costumes really complimented the production as did the choice of songs.

Ella Rowsell, directing her first pantomime at the age of 17, assisted by Robert Nicholas, put together a production she can be justifiably proud of. Bright and breezy and full of movement it captured everyone’s attention from the start. The capacity audience loved it and so did I.