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The Pantomime adventures of Robin Hood

Date

17th February 2018

Society

Dodleston Youth Players

Venue

Dudleston Village Hall

Type of Production

Pantomime

Director

Sue Ramsey

Choreographer

Sue Ramsey and Joanne Robertson

Report

Author: Budge Grounsell

Didleston Youth Players 17th Feb 2018 Dodleston Village Hall The Pantomime adventures of Robin Hood.

A month ago I did not where Dodleston was neither did most of the people I asked; those who claimed to know placed it in several different locations. Heigh Ho. However after seeing their Pantomime last night I can assure you that they are definetly on my Theatrical map now.

The stage at the village hall was small, stage right exited on to a space about a metre wide; stage left led off to dressing rooms etc. The scenery was hand painted by a very talented local artist Lorraine Black and the stage itself had been extended beyond the front tabs. Having been given a programme which indicated a cast of over 30 I thought how would they manage; well manage they did and brilliantly too. They had a fine director in Sue Ramsey and a strong team in support

A host of children and young adults got the show off to a fine start then Much the Millers son excellently played by Ryan Maughan bounded on to the stage and we were really off and running.

The interplay with the audience was superb and everyone seemed to join in which was a joy to both cast and audience. I felt sorry for the promp (Marian Murdoch) I’m sure it must have difficult to follow all the shenanigans and ad libbing which were to follow.

We had all the characters one would expect; The enchantress of the forest, Elizabeth Higginson in lieu of a good fairy, The Wicked or should I say wickedly funny sheriff (Mike Dix) who was splendid throughout; two of the funniest ladies I have seen in a long time Nickit and Scarper. Denise Ward and Karen Welsh; loved the Brummy accents ladies. We didn’t have a wicked witch we had a Soothsayer, Karen Woodworth complete with magnificent hair courtesy of Mr Teasy Weasy perhaps, a dress I’m sure I’ve seen on “Say yes to the dress” as well as a somewhat hazy crystal ball. Nanny Nora, aka Brown ale, Gordon Robertson was as good and funny a dame as I have seen in a long time, another whose interplay with the audience was a delight. Maid Marion (Gordon’s wife Joanne) contended with the advances of the sheriff in good style and eventually met with Robin Hood nicely played by Sarah Hulmston.Their meeting unlike most pantomimes where the lovers meets and miraculously fall in love immediately was better handled by Director Sue Ramsey by stopping the action to imply they had been hit by a thunderbolt from Cupids arrow. Much more realistic!

No Robin Hood tale would be complete without the men of Sherwood Alana- Dale(Gena Farrell) a young lady stepped in at short notice; Scarlet (Emily Kitchin)Little Joan (Emma Higginson) Friar Tuck (Joel Willson) aided by apprentice merry men. King Richard was well played by Ian Tyrrell and Mrs Stoneybroke Gena Farrell, Mr Penniless Charles Hague, the two guards Samuel Lewis and Charlie Hague and the Vicar Dave Christmas all contributed to their role in the plot as did the chorus of peasants., Hoodies, School children and Brownies. Mary Brierly did the musical honours.

We were also treated to a very funny film of a dream sequence absolutely splendid and so clever.Does Stephen Spielberg live in Dodleston? no! but Richard Kitchin does so watch out Stephen.

Dodleston might be a small community but the quality of the players and their supporters which as been in evidence for 50 years this year shows what can be done when people pull together. At the end of the performace the cast remained on stage, rare these days, whilst awards and flowers were presented not only to members of the cast but to the hardworking backstage workers as well who thoroughly deserved the plaudits they received.