Review – Beccles & Bungay Journal – Jan 1977
Zest key to panto success
Take a standard pantomime story, inject local jokes and a tremendous amount of energy, and you will reach the standard of something like “Dick Whittington and his cat”, which began a three-day run at Loddon Secondary School last night.
For the second year running John Harris produced an excellently funny and enthralling show. He was lucky in having plenty of local talent supporting him.
Mr. Harris adapted the standard story to include a saucy cook (Derek Loyd), an imbecille Idle Jack (Geoff Houchin) and many local characters. He even found time to play the part of Mr Fitzwilliam himself.
In the leading role of Dick was Vallee Dewar. She played a rather subdued part well. Joan Evans brought beauty to the scene as Alice Fitzwilliam, and John Bennett added a strong tenor voice to Jasper Fitzwilliam.
Apart from cook and Idle Jack, comedy came from Farmer Giles and Mrs Pearl Hayseed (Charlie and Dinah Spurgeon) and the two chambermaids, Fifi (Marie Hamming) and Lulu (Maureen Larkin).
The cat was played purr-fectly by Joan Gisborne.
More than anything else this enjoyable fiesta was a team effort. The scenery was designed and made by Joan Evans, and many of the costumes, including a pearly king and queen outfit were made by Dinah Spurgeon. The original material was written by John Harris.
In just two years Mr. Harris has established a pantomime tradition at Loddon. It is clear that many more original items will be following in the future. The production continues tonight at 7:30 and with two shows tomorrow at 2:30 and 7:30