Treasure Island

Date 25th January 2024
Society Loddon Players
Venue The Lecture Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Jackie Bingham
Musical Director Alan Cant
Choreographer Vicky Codling
Producer Steve Burton
Written By Steve Burton


Author: Sarah Meers

What a lovely welcome from all at the Loddon Players on Thursday as we arrived to take a journey back in time to Treasure Island. Everyone was excited for the show to begin and we were not disappointed.

All the characters each had their part to play to make the story come alive. They worked well together and had a good relationship with each other. The audience participation was a success for all. The Dame (Anthony Bunting) had good comedy timing and a very dry sense of humour, this added to the character to make a difference. Jim (Jane Rainer) achieved the principal girl style and played the part with ease. Abigal (Gemma Buskell) played two roles with a stylish bearing, not easy to sustain being a woman and a man in one story. The pirate crew Billy, (Linda Skepelhorn) Clive, (David Bingham) Fred, (Alasdair Skepelhorn) and Ella (Jodie Chapman) intertwined each of their characters together with success along with Carl (Vikki McDicken) who played the cutthroat part with nastiness. Long John Silver (Peter Samain) added a touch of menace to his character. Pilchard Pete (Sam Bailey) had some nice comedy moments appearing with injuries that got worse each time. Other roles Dr Robert Livesey (Adam Kellingray-Williamson) Squire Trelawney (Jeremy Rowe) and Ben Gunn (Jared Bollington) added verve and gusto to their roles in line with the pantomime story. The chorus and children added to the plot and looked like they were having fun and enjoying themselves, smiling and getting involved.  

It is never an easy job to actually write your own show so well done to Steve Burton for producing a fun traditional story and making it come to life for the audience to enjoy.         

The direction (Jackie Bingham) was good for a small stage. You could see everyone and positioning was well organised. I really enjoyed the boat scene with ‘goodies and baddies’ travelling in their boats across the stage, this was very funny. I liked the way the auditorium was used in some scenes to create the different levels, giving expansion to the performance area. The choreography (Vicky Codling) was appropriate for the show. The dance school (Funky Feet) added some distinctive style to the setting. The musical Director (Alan Cant) created some good choice of songs which completed the telling of the story. Everyone sang with gusto. I really enjoyed the good old-fashioned sing a long “A sailor’s life for me”.

The costumes were very traditional and were ideal for the show, maybe an addition of a little colour here and there, as it was panto. More accessories could have helped to create this. I was very impressed with the nautical costume the Dame wore at the end, using an old-fashioned boat for a hat. Well done for keeping that on your head.

The scenery was effective for the show, a lot of hard work went into making it and again, for the size of the stage, worked well to create the right atmosphere. The props were very in-keeping with the plot, not an excess of lighting but enough to keep the mood alive.

I really enjoyed the little moments/touches throughout the production, the black spot gag running through the show, very funny and pirates appearing and disappearing in the “That’s What I Want" number, perfect timing creating the right atmosphere. I thought the jokes were clever and kept to the theme – impressive. Giving gold coins to all the children in the audience was a lovely touch.

Thank you for all the fun and laughs Loddon Players, a great evening’s entertainment.

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