Date 12th January 2019
Society Orchard Players
Venue Capel St Mary Village Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Julie Wardley and Lynn Perera
Musical Director Maria King
Choreographer various


Author: Mary Williamson

Thank you so much for the very warm welcome given to all the audience by the Front of House team led by Sue Maplestone.

Rapunzel was a new pantomime for me but the story very familiar. It was immediately evident on entering the Hall that Rapunzel was the subject of the piece with a very impressive tower.

The audience were treated to a lively introduction from Curly and Bob, ably played by Lauren Broom and Neil Jackson. This duo shone throughout the pantomime showing great comic timing as they joked and capered from scene to scene.

James Finbow, playing Frankie, was another delightful and well acted character. Son of Dame Trixie, he was always charming and created great rapport with the audience.

His very elegant mother, Dame Trixie, played by Ray Seager, showed a strong character and filled the stage with her presence. I missed the usual changes of costume which has become a traditional element of the Dame's role.

Bex Nicholls as Prince Frederick was a very powerful character and superbly played. Her amazing singing voice and large stage presence lit up the hall. I detected a touch of 'Ab Fab' in her dialogue which just enhanced the role.

The contrast with the much gentler Rapunzel, played by Charlea Burwood worked really well. Charlea won the sympathy of the whole audience with her lovely portrayal as she endured the thoroughly nasty attention of Fiona Robinson Rogers Wicked Witch. She managed that amazing hair so well.

Fairy Flora, played by Lola Miller was a real highlight for me. Her clear diction and confident stage presence shone. This was a very good and mature characterisation from one so young.

Glyn Hill very ably portrayed King Geoffrey and was well supported by his rather pathetic Queen Gertrude,Sandie Finbow. Both created a very believable pair.

Lacie, Macie and Gracie played by Sophie Edwards, Emma Cole and Molly Griffin sang, danced and acted with verve and were backed well by their mini versions Freya Carney, Lily Benmore and Holly Barker.

Rob Dack completed the principal line up as the Captain of the Guard suffering the most unwelcome attentions of Dame Trixie. But as in all pantomimes, she got her man.

Every member of the large cast projected vitality and joy in their performances. It was wonderful to see so many young people on stage. They danced , sang and acted with complete commitment with excellent backing from a very talented band. Congratulations to the directors Lynn Perera and Julie Wardley, Musical Director Maria King and all the choreographers.

The whole production team played their part in creating a very successful entertainment. The costumes were bright and lively. The tech team led by Greg Garrad supported the action throughout. The many set changes were well managed and the device of displaying the tower room with links to the very impressive tower was particularly successful.

This was a very long pantomime but understandably so because of the size of the cast. It was certainly enjoyed by the audience.