Review – Sarah Meers – District 6 Representative, NODA East
Having never been to Loddon before it was lovely to walk into a quaint little church hall to see a pantomime on a windy Sunday afternoon. I had a very friendly and a warm welcome. It is always nice to see a sold-out performance, especially as this was their first production after 3 years.
Mother Goose is a story about nursery rhyme characters in their day to day lives and their trials and tribulations that interlink with one other. Mother Goose wants to be rich and pretty but, once she gets one of these desires, it isn’t all what it’s ‘cracked-up’ to be.
Everybody suited their character and role perfectly. Clear diction and expression in the acting was great. The cast all worked well together and created the atmosphere of panto land. I really enjoyed all your performances. There were some great comedy moments and such fun was had throughout the show. Working the audience and getting them on your side it not an easy task but, everyone did this with style and verve. You could feel the whole audience enjoyed this production, so a massive well done.
Director (Jackie Bingham) Choreographer (Vicky Codling) and Musical Director (Alan Cant) all brought their own style and technique to create this wonderful show.
The set was ‘just right’ for this production, not ‘over-egged’ to overpower the stage but, looked appropriate for the storyline. The use of the stage was worked really well, as it’s not always easy in a small space to create the plot, but this was done with grace. I really liked that the use of the walkway through the middle of the auditorium to make the audience feel part of the action.
The choice of songs was very apt for the storyline and had a fun feel to them. The singing was excellent with so much energy.
Props were ideal for the story and used well. The pool of eternal youth was hilarious, with a tiny paddling pool used, which was such a great idea. Very funny and the colourful costumes were in-keeping with each character.
The choreography was very effective and imaginative for each song. I loved seeing all different genres and styles, a good variety for panto. I especially loved the opening number “brand new day” which was full of life, with lovely smiling faces and great energy. I loved the tap in “we’re in the money” and the ballet, with a bit of humour involving baby geese and of course Gertie at the end.
It wouldn’t be panto without the audience participation. Humpty Dumpty was brilliant fun and was a lovely touch to give everyone in the audience a treat.
This Pantomime was good family fun. It had the right innuendos for panto, great jokes throughout and I was laughing all the way through. A great afternoon’s entertainment.
A very well done to you all. Thank you.
Review – Terry Reeve – Beccles & Bungay Journal – March 2023
A thoroughly entertaining panto worth waiting three years for
Pantomime returned to Loddon for the first time in three years – refreshed and new and full of colour, humour, and exuberance.
Producer Steve Burton’s script brought some new facets to the age-old fairy tale and there was ingenuity there from director Jackie Bingham. And the cast took the cue from both aspects to turn in a quality performance with energy, pace, slickness, and good timing.
The trend was set from the first curtain as the Funky Feet dancers brought a lively rhythm to their opening routine. Throughout the show they showed their controlled versatility with elements of modern classic and gymnastic dance on show under the guidance of choreographer Vicky Codling.
The cast was well led by the experience and guile of Anthony Bunting as Gertie Goose, who as usual brought out all the one liners with great timing – as well as the sympathy and pathos needed towards the end.
Carolyn Dover and Jane Rainer as the evil Demon Discontent and her sidekick Wizelda were marvelous – a great duo working well off each other with suitable hype and facial expressions with Vicki McDicken the contrast as fairy good, working to counteract their spells.
Sandrajane Stock was inside the Candy Goose costume, and the laying of the golden eggs was well managed and particularly funny.
All costumes thanks to the wardrobe team of Pauline Mason, Ann Lumley and Debbie Codling, bright and well fitting including that of Humpty Dumpty (Adam Kellingray- Williamson).
There was good support from Beth Rose-Waghorn as Billy Goose, Peter Samain, as Mayor Penny, Jody Chapman as his daughter Jenny Penny, David Bingham as the Grand Old Duke of York, (his soldiers were Jackie Bingham, Sura Goodsir-Thompson, Ana Harper-Bourne and Pauline Mason), Sam Bailey as Little Boy Blue, Teagan Doughty and Lily-May Frost as Jack and Jill as numerous nursery rhyme characters were woven nicely into the script. Some of them and the security men were played by members of the dance team, who were Katie Bell, Tilly Bell, Alice Peck, Darci-Rose Sayer, Imogen Bolderston, Lucy Bolderston, Harry Clark, Leah Clarkson, Tallulah Godfrey, and Sura Goodsir-Thompson.
And the role of Old Mother Hubbard, played by Linda Skepelhorn, was threaded neatly through the performance with a great twist at the end.
Music of course is important to a panto and that was provided by musical director Alan Cant
A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining show worth waiting three years for.