The Swan Princess

Date 28th January 2017
Society Washington Theatre Group
Venue Washington Arts Centre
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Angela Marshall


Author: Foster Johnson

Washington Theatre Group kick started their 40th Anniversary Year in fine style with a laughter packed production of The Swan Princess. Written by Peter Marshall and starring the Author as the evil but comic Goblin King (great performance) this Pantomime had everything to keep the young and enthusiastic audience entertained. The only thing not thrown into the pot was the proverbial kitchen sink, but then again we had an exploding oven to make up for it.

The plot line was simple telling the tale of a kidnapped Princess who is transformed into a swan and kept in the forbidden forest and the search to set her free by a Prince and an array of “good” Pantomime characters and the attempts to thwart them by the evil Goblin King and his “baddies” Simple as it may sounds there was a tremendous amount of “business” involved in the Show and Angela Marshall making her directorial debut rose to the challenge in fine style.  The cast responded bringing an enthusiasm which the audience responded to. The interaction between cast and audience was a pleasure to witness.

To make a successful show everything has to gel. All too often productions are let down by not going that extra yard be it poor costumes and/or scenery.  There was no fear of this in this show. The costumes were excellent, the scenery well designed and colourful whilst the use of back projection and the videoed aircraft chase scene was magnificent. I have to say that my favourite and that of the audience was the use of the motorised “Minion” and the puppet swan. The scenery, sound and lighting were very effective. The choice of music was good and enabled the cast to display their singing talents.

The Show had a good  Principal line and all captured their character traits and  fitted seamlessly into the respective roles .Each  made their contribution to the  show  We had Cathy Wood as a lovely Princess Odette (The Swan Princess), Matthew Lowe as a lovelorn and tender  hearted Prince Derek , Peter Wilson as the  Dame  Dolly Windup , Catriona Uren  as the tremendously funny Ginger the Gingerbread man, Emma Simpson and John Seymour as the bumbling villainous sidekicks  Hobgoblin and Bobgoblin , Sarah Seymour as an over the top and self indulgent character Princess Vanity ,whilst Peter Fitzpatrick and Pamela Elliott gave good portrayals in supporting roles of the Tailor and Witch.

No Pantomime would be complete without the “ah” factor and this was provided by a group of very young dancers who lit up the stage when they appeared.