Robin Hood and The Babes in The Wood

Date 18th December 2021
Society Godalming Theatre Group
Venue Ben Travers Theatre, Charterhouse
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Denise Hodgkiss
Musical Director Bob Good
Choreographer Phoebe Barrow
Written By Peter Denyer

Report

Author: Jane Turner

There are many superlatives I can think of which apply to this production, but the one which sticks out is SENSATIONAL.  Welcome back, Godalming Theatre Group!  I doubt there’s a better amateur pantomime than this in the South East Region this season.

From start to finish, the show was faultless.  The excellent live band under the direction of Bob Good opened the proceedings which had the audience clapping along. Then the cast burst onto the stage in a flurry of energy, wearing the most colourful and varied costumes I’ve seen in a long time.  The strong cast of principals were without exception outstanding.  It would be unfair to single out any one person.  There was so much talent.  And the chorus performed as a well-oiled machine, each member participating fully, never relaxing for a moment.  There were some very polished gymnastics and graceful ballet routines.  The Sprite of Greenwood introduced Acts I and II and was a constant presence throughout the show, working his magic and sorting out problems.

The team was blessed with a very funny script into which they introduced many local and topical references, not forgetting Covid - face masks, social distancing, hand washing etc.  All the elements of traditional pantomime were there in spades.

It’s difficult to describe the action in each scene.  It was fast moving, slick, colourful, tuneful, action-packed.  Altogether perfect!  I think the best I can do is to highlight those bits which stuck in my mind.  To be honest, I was so enthralled that I gave up taking notes!

The classic sing-along at the end was one I hadn’t heard before – Skidamarink.  Great fun and easy to follow

The simple but effective set was easy to manage with no long gaps for scene changes.  Smooth changes and good artwork.  The props used in one or two dances were imaginative and handled expertly, particularly the bamboo sticks in a group dance, and the umbrellas in the ballet scene.  Full marks to choreographer Phoebe Barrow who was lucky to have such a talented group of performers.

The costumes were superb.  So much colour, sparkles, variety, inventiveness, each one perfect for the character and the chorus costumes were overflowing with variety and colour.  Nurse Norah’s stripper scene was flawless and hilarious, with layer upon layer of costume being subtly removed, ending up with the time-honoured twirling tassels expertly executed on the front of her bra!  Costume designer Carol Gallacher surpassed herself and how she found the time and energy to take on not just one but two important roles as well the costumes is a mystery.

This was another triumph for Director Denise Hodgkiss who was expertly supported by her fellow directors in all the departments – Musical Director Bob Good, Choreographer Phoebe Barrow, Costume Designer Carol Gallacher and the whole production team.  Huge congratulations to everyone.