The Zoo; Cinderella (Art of Coarse Acting)

Date 15th November 2013
Society Betchworth Operatic & Dramatic Society
Venue Betchworth Village Memorial Hall
Type of Production Musical + Pantomime
Director The Zoo: Alison Cooper; Cinderella: Gini King
Musical Director The Zoo: Ian Stone


Author: John W Barnes

The Zoo had a very good simple set with iron railings depicted on the back wall all designed and constructed in house, which gave the cast of 18 space to move around the stage.  The table and chair with the antique tiered wooden cake stand all provided a good setting.

The backcloth for Cinderella hired from The Barn Theatre, Oxted, provided the setting for the kitchen with the addition of a table and chair and props on the table.

For “The Zoo” all the costumes depicted the era and the different social classes well.

In “Cinderella” Gini King had ensured we had the characters in the traditional panto outfits, with over the top ones for the Ugly Sisters

The Zoo:  All the principal characters fulfilled their roles well and with good clear diction and fine singing could be heard clearly. The era was well depicted and with strong support from the “The Great British Public” cast members.  Well directed with full use made of the stage and auditorium for the threatened suicide.  Most enjoyable production.

Cinderella: The cast gave us a very good interpretation of an “incompetent amateur society” with Sammy the Cat (Neil Williams) being caught standing upright and smoking a cigarette; the trumpet for the Herald (Darren Flashman) being sounded after he had supposedly played; Button (Stephen Tickell) with “buttons/zip” undone; the attempt to fly the “Fairy Godmother” (Fiona Radford) which never managed to be achieved; a Prince Charming (Jane Seymour) with a bad back; Cystitis (Linda Slater) & Hernia (Jane Johnson) as two ugly sisters; a Prompt (Barbara Garton) appearing from the wings including her ball of wool unwinding across the stage and being recovered; a Stage Manager (Julian Warner-Edney) supplying props which should have been on stage, being proffered furtively from the wings.  Poor Cinderella (Julie Bickerdike) being badly transformed into her ball gown.   This all went to provide high amusement for the audience, which unfortunately on the night I attended was quite small (Children in Need on TV).   Again good clear diction and a well directed production.