Review – Frank IIiffe – Beccles & Bungay Journal – Jan 2001
Last Thursday I was privileged to be able to attend the opening of the annual Loddon pantomime. I use the word privilege not only because tickets are like gold dust but it was rather like gate-crashing a party.
Here the performers and the audience seemed to be well united and it appeared to be a distinct advantage not to live too far from the borders of Loddon and Chedgrave.
Notwithstanding that we were greeted with a warm welcome and it wasn’t long before we were joining in and having as much fun as anyone.
From the moment that the seven dwarfs appeared and launched into their opening song “busy doing nothing” we were sure we were in for an enjoyable evening.
Soon the dwarves were sent packing into the forest by the evil stepmother, Queen Demonica played with great command by Jennie Futter and hissed at enthusiastically by one and all.
I quite warmed to her especially with her excellent rendering of “Old Fashioned Millionaire”.
Alas she demanded the heart of a most appealing Snow White, admirably played by Laura Coombe, who sang beautifully. Particularly enjoyable were her scenes with the Prince played by Adam Taylor, who was clearly happy in his part. In fact it was the numbers of young performers who played such a big part in the success of the show. They caught the eye with their skilful movement and splendid costumes.
But interlaced among the well known story was a wealth of rich humour and who better to deliver this than Loddon’s own “bundle of fun” Maureen Larkin whose double act with Melvin Franklin was pure delightful.
And what a splendid Dame we had in the guise of popular local panto comedian Anthony Bunting, clearly in his element with some of the funniest lines in the show.
I particularly like the scene with Daisy the cow.
To cap it all we even had the Full Monty respectfully played by the Seven Dwarfs.
This was a truly excellent production which was in the capable hands of Ann Turner and Jane Chapman to ensure that the whole show preceded at just the right pace.
Beryl Carver provided the most enjoyable musical accompaniment and at the end of the performers it was undoubtedly clear that what really mattered was that we’d all had a jolly good time.