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Babes in Wonderland – 1982




Review – Beccles & Bungay Journal – Jan 1982

“Babes” has all the essentials

The essential ingredients of any good  pantomime – music humour and audience participation – feature abundantly in Loddon Pantomime Players production of “Babes in Wonderland”.

The show, produced and written by Joan Evans, and loosely based on the traditional “Babes in the Wood” storyline, gives plenty of scope for the cast of more than 30 to display their talents.

Stars of the production are undoubtedly David Winterton and the diminutive Natasha Constable, as the babes, who’s stage presence belies their tender years.

Derek Loyd, a favourite “dame” with Loddon panto regulars, goes over the top with all his usual zest, and sprinkles his lines with just the right amount of local “in” jokes.


Emma Clitheroe, a radiant Snow White wooed by Prince Charming in the guise of Joan Evans, who was forced to take the part at the last minute. Maureen Larkin, a demure Red Riding Hood is particularly successful in encouraging community singing.

The hisses were reserved for Joan Gisborne as the wicked queen, Roz Hoffman as the witch, and Ian Larkin, surely the only ukulele toting Wolf north of the Waveney.

There is little historical evidence to suggest Humpty Dumpty was in fact a Norfolk dumpling, but Margaret Bunting clearly enjoyed the role. Full marks also go to Beryl Carver, who provided an organ accompaniment which was a compliment, and not an intrusion, to the show.

Members of the Joan Gisborne Dancing School performed tap and ballet as village children, fairies, dwarfs, birds and soldiers. The costumes of the dancers, and indeed all of the cast were excellent.

Everyone managed to sing in time, if not always in tune, but pride of place must go to David Osborne (Simple Simon), whose powerful but sensitive voice was outstanding.

The remaining performances at the Hobart High School are tonight and tomorrow afternoon and evening.