12th January 2017
All Souls Dramatic Club
The Atkinson Southport
Type of Production
Author: Patricia Connor
Once again this year All Souls Dramatic Club have given us another excellent pantomime centred on that well-loved story of Sleeping Beauty. Written and directed by Cliff Gillies, we were treated to a great story, innovative technology, superb singing, acting and comedy with all round good performances from the cast and we were also introduced to a number of wonderful characters. They included Princess Aurora, Sleeping Beauty herself, played by Chloe Hughes who sang and acted beautifully, there were also two younger versions of Aurora in the story who were Baby Aurora played by Olivia Hughes, there were lots Ah’s from the audience when she appeared on stage and young Aurora played very nicely by Robyn- May Wright. Helen Gillies as Prince Michael, Auroras love interest made an excellent pantomime principal boy who along with Chloe made a very good pantomime central couple and Helen was also complimented very well by Neil Woods as the Prince’s comical articulate servant Turner. Cliff Gillies was as usual very funny and full of energy as Dame Dixie who was helped in his comedy capers by Dixie’s son Jack played by Christine Swash who had a lovely rapport with the audience. The baddie of the story Maleficent was excellently played by Hayley Murray, she had just the right amount of malevolence in her character and she owned the stage which is very important in this type of role, there were plenty of boos from the audience when she came on stage. Maleficent was ably assisted in her wicked ways by two characters namely Lance, Mickey Stewart and Boyle, Vicky Newcombe. There were three good fairies who were all very different in character, they included Fairy Flora - Lucy Brindle who had an outstanding singing voice, Autumn and mother earth Fairy Fauna played by Jen Johnson and Fairy Merryweather- Katie Watkinson who held most of her conversations in song but sometimes she would sing at the most inopportune moments, all three played and worked very well together. Other important characters were King Albert Syse- Peter Roney, Queen Victoria Syse -Sue Kershaw who were Auroras parents, The Viceroy -Tracy Holmes Smith and King William Watt- John Hardiker who all produced good performances in their roles. The Chorus and dancers all performed their choreography by Katie Watkinson with lots of energy and enthusiasm and also supported the principal cast well, they also produced some interesting different characters of their own. Diction and clarity of words was generally spot on so the story could be followed easily and there was also some excellent singing in this pantomime which was all accompanied by the use of backing tracks which worked very well.
I should like to say a special well done to all the stage crew and to the technical crew as there was some excellent technical input in this show which included sound and light effects, back projection, pre recordings, film and lots of other great technical features, which must have taken a great deal of thought, planning and hard work and along with the colourful applicable costumes added to the overall experience for the audience to enjoy and the success of the production
Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing this very enjoyable production to the stage and judging by the audience reaction on the night we visited this was another very successful production. Thank you very much for inviting us.