Treasure Island

Date 17th January 2015
Society Woodchurch Players
Venue Woodchurch Memorial Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Emma Priest
Choreographer Emma Priest and Val Smith

Report

Author: Anne Lawson

This fine swash buckling panto, where at the Admiral Bimbo Inn, hero young Jim Hawkins and Ma find Captain Flint’s treasure map in old Billy Bones’s trunk.  Notorious pirate Long John Silver is also seeking the map together with dim-witted pair Brass and Knuckles and others from the pirate gang lay siege.  With the help of Squire Trelawney and daughter Felicity the Hawkins’ escape and set sail.  In disguise, Silver has become the ship’s cook and is accompanied by an oversized mischievous talking parrot and his pirate crew.  On arriving at the Island the pirates reveal themselves, kidnap Felicity and force Jim to hand over the map. A race ensues ending in a swash buckling episode with our hero the victor and LJS dispatched into Davy Jones Locker.  The chest is empty – Robinson Crusoe has found it, spent the treasure on a luxury casino and living it up with Girl Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday!  Created by Nick Jones, the programme was a particularly attractive glossy, coloured A5, booklet with front cover depicting the Hispaniola, coconut palm, treasure chest and the map. NODA crest and wording also on front page and inside all relevant details together with information on the wonderful Hall Annex Building Community Project.  The three man music creators produced a very good result.  Use of LED lighting and laser effects gave a stirring start.  I particularly liked the 60 second countdown and the angled Treasure Island title. Good choice  of nautical flavoured  backing tapes  worked very well for most of the numbers.  A lively opening of ‘Oom-Pah-Pah’ set in The Admiral Bimbo Inn, together with finale reprise of ‘Sailing for Adventure’. Singing heartily, faster and faster, with actions ‘A Sailor Went to Sea’ we were brilliant! Quality set design and painting, developed by Gaety and Richard Fair, Jenny McGuckin, Rae and Jon Fermor and Les Fenton, giving The Bimbo Inn, aboard the jolly Hispaniola, and a beautiful Treasure Island Beach.  Good finishing touches with an array of first class quality props. Costume team Lyn McGuckin and Ann Tiplady dressed the cast.  Fun in pink, with a terrific hair creation and battery operated wand together with basket to scatter her fairy dust was the Fairy Godmother, with Long John giving Sparrow a run for his money.  Ma Hawkins donned a perfect cardie but Captain C was oh so smart in uniform, with moustache, the piece de resistance. Attention to detail with both hair and makeup throughout. Imaginative sound and lighting effects created a grand adventure atmosphere, lines delivered were loud and clear, with Tim Nolan and Rocket Wady at the desk. Headed by Emma this favourite for both children and adults alike, with a perfect amount of good humour was handled well, with a few twists along the way. Back Stage helpers worked extremely hard and kept scenes flowing.  Such a winner the oversized parrot cheekily played by Anna Hinson.  Young talent was in abundance with a good rounded performance from Ryan Carter as Jim Hawkins supported by the charming Emily Perrian as Felicity Trelawny, was given the opportunity to sing. The double act was well timed with natural movement from Daisy Fermor (Knuckles) and Jessica Sacco (Brass) whilst Barry Thomas, dame for the first time, handled his frocks, hair curlers and make-up with ease!  A superb rendition of LJS from experienced Mark Perrian hopping skilfully on one leg with a perfect gravelly voice ‘Ah ha’ ably assisted by his crew of pirates.  Between them Director Emma and Val Smith created interesting movement and dances, for both principals and ensemble. Other characters, too many to mention, gave a well drilled and rehearsed production.