Preview – Beccles and Bungay Journal – Jan 1997
21 years old and still as fresh as its first performance
Pantomime is celebrating its 21st birthday at Loddon where a cast of about 40 local people- ages ranging from 7 to 70 – are putting the finishing touches to their production of Sleeping Beauty.
The team includes 2 “originals” from the first show back in 1976, accompanist Beryl Carver, and Derek Loyd, who came out of retirement to fill a gap caused by illness. Also producer Maureen Larkin whose first panto was in 1977.
Joan Evans has written the script – as she has for many Loddon productions – including many topical jokes with a local flavour.
Versatility being the keynote of Loddon productions, she has also helped paint the scenery.
But the “old firm” each year attracts a number of new faces to keep the show on the road and as lively and fresh as ever.
Last night’s gala opening night at Loddon Lecture Hall, in George lane, was the first of 14 performances to be given over the next three weekends.
Performances are tonight, tomorrow, and on 4 nights from Wednesday to Saturday next week and the following week.
There are also afternoon matinees tomorrow and for the next 2 Saturdays.
On January 29 the players will take Sleeping Beauty to the Vauxhall Centre in Norwich to give their annual performance to the St Raphael Club.
Colds flu and other obstacles have dogged the preparations.
“Everybody has been working very hard but we are hoping everything goes well because so far we haven’t been able to get the whole lot together at a rehearsal,” said Mrs. Larkin.
But tickets have sold well and the spirit of Loddon Pantomime Players will win through.
They may have come of age but their sense of fun is undiminished.