|Date||30th November 2019|
|Society||Quinton and Admington Drama Society|
|Venue||Quinton Village Hall|
|Type of Production||Pantomime|
|Director YoungQUADS||Robyn Hemmings|
|Musical Director||Val Gilks|
Author: Andy Brown
Having first visited QUADS this time last year when they won the district five award for best pantomime, I was pleased to be back for this year’s production having seen a musical earlier this year.
The hall was once again full. The audience covered a wide age range which was good to see. It was evident many audience members were family and friends and or local to the village and were there for an enjoyable afternoon and enjoy it they did including a few local references.
A postscript with the programme as well as an announcement told us of a cast replacement due to illness. John Hyde (and a clipboard with the script) took on the role of Billy with relatively short notice. Therefore, well done on undertaking the part alongside Tony Cook as Benny.
There was most certainly a desire to entertain the audience and rehearsals were evident to have taken place to achieve this aim. Many traditions of pantomime land were kept, sometimes these are not always kept in a changing world. The tradition of good fairy entering stage right and evil (again a fairy in this version) stage left was kept.
Good fairy – Crystal played by Linda Thomas succeeded another tradition – rhyming lines. Playing opposite was Suzie Cook as Poison Ivy. She played the part with relish and was just right in ensuring she achieved the boos without scaring the younger members of the audience. I particularly liked the scenes in act two with TeenQUADS as Creepers in well-choreographed numbers. Congratulations also to the YoungQUADS Fairies who took part in a range of scenes.
Dame Edna Extravaganza was played by John Ryder who also played dame last year. It was unfortunate the script only had the dame involved in one scene in act one which was a shame. This was compensated for in act two. John is a natural pantomime dame (that is a compliment – oh yes, it is) and he managed the innuendo well without crossing the line.
Energy was abounding from Luke French as Ralf throughout the performance – luckily, he managed to remain on stage and did not find himself in a heap off stage while leaping around. I did enjoy the running gag in act two whereby he enacted the happenings to date to each of the other characters in turn.
Principal boy and girl played by Robyn Hemmings as Felix and Emma Roberts as Princess Rosetta along with Amy Day as Sophie played their respective parts with tenderness. Meanwhile Richard Belcher was ideal as the money grabbing Prince Geoffrey.
Costumes were in keeping of the characters although maybe a couple more were needed for the dame. Make up was equally good especially for Poison Ivy and the creepers.
The use of back cloths with QUADS is without doubt ingenious. They are housed on cardboard carpet rolls and lowered and pulled up using a system of pulleys. The artwork on these is especially good making for great backdrops. Continual well done to the scenery painters.
There were times when the production went slightly astray. There were clearly missed lines or cues and occasions where words in songs were missed. The odd costume malfunction and errors with lines were however enjoyed by the audience just as much as most of the show when it went to plan.
This was an entertaining afternoon and most certainly enjoyed by the audience.
I look forward to visiting QUADS again in the future.