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The Pink Panther Strikes Again

Date

15th May 2014

Society

Grantham Operatic Society

Venue

Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham

Type of Production

Play

Director

Joy Wilson / Mary O'Neill / Lucy Smith

Choreographer

Jo Toomey

Report

Author: Peter Breach

The playwright William Gleason has used the 1976 film by Blake Edwards and Frank Waldman (that had Peter Sellars playing Chief inspector Jacques Clouseau) as the basis for his stage play. It is certainly challenging to perform from the numbers aspect; this production had 24 actors playing 42 different parts with numerous set changes which were carried out swiftly and efficiently by 5 appropriately costumed pink panthers, who also performed the cleverly choreographed opening to the show and the entre’ acte. There were several outstanding performances in this action packed production, Steve Sale (as Clouseau) was most convincing as the bumbling incompetent police officer, speaking English with a French accent and always surviving his incredible foul-ups. Tony Lane (as Dreyfus) worked extremely hard as the raving lunatic. Simon Johnson (as Cato) amply demonstrated his martial arts skills. Paul Meakin showed great versatility in his various roles - his piece in drag was very funny. The colourful costumes and the make-up assisted the players to switch roles and change into different characters; sound and lighting were used to good effect. This play contains elements of slapstick, farce and exaggerated action, all intended to appeal to one’s sense of humour.  The responses of the audience clearly confirmed that this objective had been accomplished. Well done all concerned!