Review – Terry Reeve – Beccles and Bungay Journal – Jan 2007
Local angle brings pantomime to life
The players have lost two stalwarts over the past few months with the deaths of Derek Loyd and Pat Potter – two men who gave much of their time and talents to ensure the fun of the pantomime in Loddon was firmly rooted.
And they will be smiling down approvingly on this latest show, Aladdin, as it has all the colour, all the humour and the vibrancy and all the local quips that they helped to establish over the past 30 years or so.
On Saturday, from the moment the curtain went up on the impressively costumed dancers, to the finale when all the cast are on stage, this was a show in the true tradition of a local community pantomime – little humorous digs at things that have happened in the town, jokes that locals appreciate, repartee with the audience, and familiar faces on the stage getting up there to entertain their neighbours.
On all those counts it is a winner. Widow Twankey (the role Derek took on, on several occasions) is in the equally capable hands of Anthony Bunting, Norfolk accent, false eyelashes, false bosoms and all, and the rest follow.
As Aladdin Jackie Bingham brings maturity and good singing to the role, Graham Orpet gives his own pleasingly fun interpretation to the role of Wishywashy, and Howard Dover clearly relishes the part of the evil Abanazer, well supported by Gina Buntrock as his wife Gezunder.
Lizzie Burgess is a delightful Princess Jasmine who sings confidently while as Doris, the inimitable Maureen Larkin larks up the role as only she can, to the great appreciation of the audience.
In a large cast Carolyn Dover, Melvin Frankland, Tom Olive and Matthew Moore also shine, while the young dancers of the Funky Feet School of Dance are enthusiastic and well coached.
This well presented show, directed by Joan Evans, continues on January 18-20 and 25-27 at 7:30pm, with matinees on both Saturdays at 2:30pm.