|Date||23rd January 2019|
|Venue||Lister Hall, Dursley|
|Type of Production||Pantomime|
|Musical Director||Rob Andrews|
Author: Dee Way
This show was home-written and as such included many up-to-date jokes and effects, such as the mobile phones. However, the characterisations were well defined and there were some good contrasts, such as between the three witches, each very different. The planning of the show was excellent with very good continuity and efficient scene changes. At times, the dialogue was delivered quite fast and the audience did not have time to catch the nuances if the script, so slowing the delivery may help here. I really liked the casting of girls as the Merry Men - and they performed these parts with good conviction.
The scenery and sets were excellent, with the projected image of the trees opening the show, then the village scene with castle walls at the side of the stage, the witches in the forest complete with fire and cauldron, and the prison scene with that lovely church window. Scene changes were efficient and quick, and were often covered by a song in front of curtains, making the revelation of the new scene much more impressive. The creation of Skid Row as the opening of Act 2 was very inventive and worked very well, while the bedroom with its curtain and lights was most effective.
The costumes were brilliant! There was a lovely range of colours, all in period and with suitable footwear. Hair and make up were very good and added to the period effect throughout. Lighting and sound were good, with particular accuracy on cues. Overall the sound effects and balance of volumes were good.
The music was delightful, with the live band adding so much to the teamwork of the production. The adaptations of the song words worked very well. The school of dance, as ever, added a lot to the show, with a lovely junior dance with Robin and Maid Marion early in Act 1. I really enjoyed the rap fight as well - it fitted in perfectly.
However, as ever, the acting and singing by the cast were once again the wining element of the show. Robin Hood was very well played with just enough dreaminess and with excellent singing, with Maid Marion's nicely contrasting emotions of hope and desperation. Nursey was delightfully irreverent, as was the wonderful Friar Nuck, while the Merry Men played their male parts with a lovely teasing touch at times. The inclusion of witches was inspired, with a wonderful play on their names and the great misunderstandings generated. The rest of the cast performed well and with good characterisation, making for a cohesive and enjoyable story telling.
Altogether this was a delightful version of the well-known story of love and betrayal that was very well acted and sung, while the dancers added a lot to the feel of some scenes. The team work in staging the production showed good planning, effective stage management and excellent casting and costumes.
Thank you all for a good evening of entertainment.