Preview – Beccles & Bungay Journal – Jan 1992
This pantomime has a real family flavour
Babes in Wonderland, Loddon’s 17th annual home produced pantomime – which was due to have its first performance last night – is very much a family affair.
With 16 successful shows under their belts, the Loddon Pantomime Players have established not only a winning formula, which relies very much on local humour, but also a strong team spirit.
And several local families are strongly representative represented in the cast of 40.
They include the 4 Bolam children, Rebecca, Laura, Jonathan and Peter, following in the steps in the panto footsteps of their dad, David, who occupies an uncomfortable seat on the wall in the unflattering shape of Humpty Dumpty.
Helen Dover, alias Snow White, who has been in every Loddon pantomime since her first appearance 11 years ago at the age of 5, is joined in this year’s show by her sister Laura, while her brother Matthew has a title role as one of the Babes.
There are also three members of the Chilvers family on stage.
But the players are again relying heavily on the experience and talent of some well known local performers whose exploits in past productions are the stuff of which local showbiz legends are made.
Having first presented Babes in Wonderland 10 years ago, the players are ensuring that hilarity – if not history – is repeating itself.
Joan Evans, who wrote the story and directed it first time round is again the producer, and three other Loddon panto stars who were in the first production are on parade again.
Church organist and annual panto dame, Derek Loyd has again shaved off his mustache ready to raid the psychedelic wardrobe of Mrs. Simple, the productive old woman who lived in a shoe.
Maureen Larkin portrays Red Riding Hood with the same youthful zest she employed 10 years ago, while Hayley Nichols, a toy soldier then, has grown up to play Bo Peep.
In one respect at least this year’s production is very different from babes in Wonderland 1982 – the venue.
Since that time the Players have moved from the Hobart High School to the Lecture Hall in George Lane, where performances are being given tonight at 7:30, tomorrow afternoon (2:30) and evening (7:30), and next Friday and Saturday.
Joan Evans story features two Babes who are transported to a Wonderland world in which people from their familiar everyday life turn up as well-known nursery rhyme characters.
The team spirit of Loddon Pantomime Players owes as much to the backroom boys and girls, who masterminded the lighting, scenery and props, as it does to the people on stage.
Babes in Wonderland features a wide range of colourful and imaginative costumes mostly put together by Anne Lumley Liz Bloomfield, Jenny Futter, and Joan Evans.
Tickets are available by telephone.