Theatre review by Philip Evans
THE third and final curtain call at last week’s production of ‘Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs’ by Lyme Regis Pantomime Society at the Woodmead Halls was ‘Young At Heart’. There could not have been a more appropriate ending to one of the best pantomimes I have seen in a long career of covering local stage shows.
Down the years the society has introduced many young performers to the art of pantomime, many of whom have become firm favourites with Lyme audiences – and this was no exception.
Coaxed by a few well-seasoned performers, the youngsters excelled and on the first night I attended, with a near full house, their enthusiasm and enjoyment cascaded across the footlights. The fun on stage was palpable and it was a cracking show.
Although there was no traditional Dame, it had all the ingredients expected of any self-respecting panto – popular songs, lots of energetic dancing, great costumes, corny jokes, an effective stage set and, of course, a happy ending.
Producer/director Sarah Causley and her two assistants, Amanda Rattenbury-Davies and Lorraine Knowles, can feel well satisfied that this particular show will go down as one of the most popular and professional for several years.
Although still in her mid-20s, Jodie Glover is a seasoned performer and has appeared in more than 50 shows, but this was her first pantomime. She adapted to the genre effortlessly and with a divine voice and superb acting skills, she sailed through the lead role of Snow White with consummate ease.
Along with leading boy Harvey Causley as the handsome Prince Lorenzo, Jodie produced the musical highlight of the show with their rendition of ‘Orange Coloured Sky’, the 1950s Nat King Cole hit, and accompanied by the Dwarfs her rendition of ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses’ and ‘Spoon Full of Sugar’ also delighted the audience.
The multi-talented Harvey was a natural for the role of the handsome prince and had a few in the audience swooning as well as Snow White, especially during their duet ‘Love Will Find A Way’.
Harvey has a natural stage presence and is rapidly becoming one of area’s most sought after performers. A long and successful career beckons.
A successful panto has to have a ‘baddie’ who entices the audience to engage with sufficient boos and hisses and this role fell, not for the first time, to Lorraine Knowles as the Queen Morgiana who ruled over the Kingdom of Moravia with evil intent.
Lorraine relished the role and is in danger of being type-cast for ever, such was the intensity of her portrayal. A faultless performance.
With no Dame in this particular version, the task of titillating the audience with a never-ending tirade of corny jokes, delivered with immaculate timing, was entrusted to Daniel Edwards in the role of Muddles, the court jester. He interacted well with the audience and kept the pace bouncing along in an infectious manner.
Much humour was also generated by Drew Morris in the role of the Queen’s ineffective henchman who also established a good rapport with the audience with the occasional well delivered ad-lib. This was Drew’s first venture on the local stage and I have a feeling we will be seeing much more of him in the future.
Top marks also go the Tracey Wood, another newbie to the pantomime scene who made an effective Fairy Goodheart and to young Oliver Taylor who showed great confidence in the role of Tom Bowler.
The big hit of this show was undoubtedly the performance of the Seven Dwarfs, superbly marshalled by Jake Causley who gave a very professorial performance as their leader, Prof.
Their very appearance – walking on their knees with false legs flapping in front of them – brought the house down – so take a bow Amanda Rattenbury-Davies (Grumbly), Naomi Davis-Griffiths (Cheeky), Megan Flux (Snoozy), Charis Holland (Sniffly), Cody Wootton (Blusher) and Grace Knowles (Loopy). They were simply fabulous.
Great credit is also due to the enthusiastic chorus line who sang and danced their way through no less than ten numbers – Louise Rawlins, Lindsey Cozens, Beverley Rattenbury, Logan Street, Joshua Denning, Sarah Causley, Sofia Briggs-Harrison, Isobel David-Griffiths, Kate Wootton, Klara Smith, Millie Ellis, Libby Flux, Darci Street and Oliver Taylor.
So all in all, another successful production in a long list of successes by Lyme Regis Pantomime Society.
Production team: Sarah Causley (producer and director); Amanda Rattenbury-Davies and Lorraine Knowles (assistant producers); Amanda Rattenbury-Davies and Sarah Causley (choreographer); Hilary Smith and Yvonne McCreanney (sewing and costume design); Lauren Good (musical director, keyboard); Glynn Rattenbury (percussion); Peter Yates (bass); Terry Cozens (stage manager); Brian Street, Alan Ellis, Michaela Ellis, Brian Rattenbury, Jane Tappin, Mike Tappin, Jonathan Carey, Jon Doody, Alan Taylor, Tanya Rattenbury, Jess Douglas, Aaron Rawlins (stage crew); Ann Yates (prompt); Hilary Smith and Yvonne McCreaney (costume making); Seventh Wave Audio (lighting and sound); Jane Tappin (props); Michaela Demkiw and Sarah Causley (scenery); Carl Salter (set builder); Kathy Smith, Val Hawkins, Una Quick, Shirley Colley, Annette Denning and friends of the society (front of house and raffle). The costumes came from Shirley Colley’s society stock.