The Princess and the Pea
27th January 2018
St Cuthbert’s Church, Sprowston
Type of Production
Author: Sue DuPont
Once again written in-house by Sally-Anne Davies (the lady in red). I cannot believe that the group is celebrating a 25th anniversary, many congratulations on this and on your full houses.
A different story and a different-style pantomime with some of the usual ingredients and some variations because of the story. All the elements drawn together and put on stage with enthusiasm by Carol Rowell, and certainly the audience enjoyed the performance.
The owner of the ‘pea factory’ Mrs Wilmot (Toni Morina) had a big part to play in the story as business was not so good and needed an injection of money (and when we heard the list of products it was hardly surprising), and the way forward seemed to be a rich suitor for son. As the impossible and totally OTT Toddy who always wanted his own way or tantrums resulted, Luke Fairweather kept up an exhausting performance that dominated and drove all to distraction, and he did not always get his way.
A ‘pea green’ Peaches McReedie from Mark Chapman was a strong personality and great dame role, good comedy timing and presence, and meddling in everything. Her son, Freddie, from Sam Howe, a kind and nice lad with good vocal, and shown to be more than expected in the later stages of the story.
As Jemima, Sally Davies was the plotter and schemer, basically bad but glamorous, and with both Toddy and Freddie enchanted by her. Certainly she ran rings around the rest of the cast with her plans, strong in acting and vocally, but pleasingly she did not win in the end. Her mother Sissy (Lynsey Boston) kept up the pressure for evil and encouraged the lady in red in all the plots.
And the quiet servant Ella (Becky Harris-Cook) just went through the story in her own way, very pleasant vocals, nice personality, common sense in thought and in interaction, and she won through. I had expected a twist in the story as she tested the many mattresses bed (with pea) and came out bruised, so was she in fact the princess?
Two choruses, one mobile rustic and one evil, gave some good numbers throughout the action and raised the spirits and interaction with the audience. Cameo roles from Sheila Tuffield (Witch of West) and with Flatula (Chris Aldrich) and Repella (Bev Rowles) ensured some other story aspects included. A happy cast obviously enjoying their time on stage.