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Red Riding Hood – 1998



Choreographer/ MD

Review – Beccles and Bungay Journal – Jan 1998

In fine panto tradition

Each succeeding year, the Loddon Pantomime Players enjoy excellent houses, their current production Red Riding Hood, continuing the tradition with a sell-out.

It is easy to understand why they are now presenting a 23rd successful panto. The warmth generated on stage and a desire to embrace the audience has always been a hallmark of this enthusiastic company with the irrepressible Maureen Larkin as always, a tower of strength.

With her broad grin and the ability to extract every ounce of humour from a comic situation, this lovable character is everyone’s friend.n

But I suspect she sadly misses Derek Loyd who played opposite her for so many performances because there was a rare chemistry between them and I must confess that in the current production it does show.

However effective as the Dame Mrs. Meddler, and despite fitting into the role like a glove with glorious changes of costume and a fine presence, Anthony Bunting did not quite enjoy the same rapport.

This is a show where the youngsters shined and will be an asset to the players as years go by. Laura Coombe (alternating with Anna Frosdick) proved a delightful Red Riding Hood and was ably partnered by Ellen Turner (alternating with Kerry Sharpen) as Chips.

The fairies and goblins were delightful, the difference in temperament hugely effective

Emma Burton, Gabrielle Mason, and Nancy Milner, sedate, elegant, regal as fairies and Amy Coombe, Rebecca Sparkes and Beth Turner, impish and wicked as the goblins.

I adored Rosie Kipps as Mrs. Meddler’s daughter, Ruby, laden with the grand sense of humour to match. And, who could not resist Melvin Frankland’s warm, friendly wolf who ends up as Grandma Hood’s pet.

The pantomime was capably produced and directed by Jane Chapman Peter Harrison, and Ann Turner. Musical Director, as ever was wonderfully reliable Beryl Carver and there was much to admire in Joan Gisborne’s choreography and the set Diane design and décor by Joan Evans.