|Date||4th January 2020|
|Society||St Annes Parish Operatic Society|
|Venue||Marton United Reformed Church Hall|
|Type of Production||Pantomime|
Author: Chris Higgins
After a short break over Christmas it was back into the swing of things in 2020 with the first NODA visit and St Annes Parish Operatic Society’s "Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs" pantomime.
SAPOS have been performing in a short tour at different venues around the area. I caught up with them at Marton United Recormed Church Hall, a small church hall with a small stage. I was welcomed by the the chairman and director of the pantomime and shown to my seat which, unfortunately, was within a small audience. However they have been playing to packed audiences whilst doing the tour which is great news to hear. The classic story of Snow White is one that is known everywhere and a favourite of the pantomime script writers. This being no exception for Paula Curtis who wrote the script for this years SAPOS pantomime.
There was a very simple hand painted backdrop on the small stage with few but effective props. The lighting and sound was simple, but effective, with the only technical issue being a slight miss match in audio mix - it would’ve been beneficial for a couple of the main performers to use a mic pack. We are all obviously aware of the costings of the technical aspects of the performance, especially when doing a run that is moving around and it has to be taken into consideration and it certainly wasn’t the be all and end all. There were some lovely performances from the lead characters, namely Ciara Curtis as Snow White performed sweetly and with lovely vocals and cute characterisation which fit Snow White perfectly. Prince Rudolph was played by Geraldine Brown and she had a lovely projection a great character and very strong performance with the delivery of the script. I would like to mention the Wicked Queen played by Mandy Hall - fantastic character and some lovely acting both on and off script. She had everybody “booing & hissing” in the right places and her scenes were also quite scary! It’s not a pantomime without a dame and for Snow White this time we had Dame Dolly played by Bernard Kennedy. Bernard had a great character, stunning make up and beautiful frocks! Muddles, the comedy character played by Chris Newby in this rendition of Snow White tried really hard to get the audience on side and to make them as vocal as possible, it was difficult with such a small audience, but he did very well. The huntsmen Lindsey Clark and Mandy Palmer played Hickory and Dickory respectively, they did a great job to keep the audience going and to maintain the script speed, lovely projection from both the performers and some great one-liners - well done. I’d just like to mention a couple of the supporting performers that had solo songs to sing. Una Bird gave a lovely rendition of her solo with some lovely vocals as did Dan Suddaby with a strong opening to the Second Act which the audience were clearly very impressed with. Finally I would like to mention Daisy Mae Threlfall for her ballet in the Second Act, she did a great job of performing behind Una in her solo and really did dance beautifully. Well done to the seven dwarfs Ethan Haigh, Abigail Blizzard, Amy Phillips, Chloe McCutcheon, Jessica Madden, Lily Mason, and Lola Norris - without you it wouldn’t be the same story!
Director and Choreographer was Alison Thornton, she did well to put together this performance which was going to be played on varying stage sizes to varying audiences - well done Alison for gleaning a good performance from your cast, the choreography was suitable for the cast’s abilities and fit the performance very well. Sound by Mac Curtis was queued well and there were no problems, well done. Paula Curtis, as well as writing the script, looked after the costumes and did a fantastic job with a small cast to create a fairytale story.
Amateur theatre is a difficult thing to get just right and it takes groups right down at the grassroots such as SAPOS to help get people involved and keep this great hobby of ours alive and thriving. I always enjoy going to the smaller groups and see the performances that they work so hard on. You can clearly see on the faces of every member of the cast that they enjoy being part of the show and it is lovely to watch as they come to the finale with big smiles on their faces.
Thank you SAPOS for your invitation to your pantomime and to my first performance of 2020. I look forward to seeing your next production.