Reviews

Aladdin

Aladdin

If it’s a traditional panto you’re after then look no further than this welcoming corner of The New Forest where groan-worthy gags and funny business as old as the hills are on offer in James Barry’s commendably tightly scripted version of this well-loved tale, directed with vigour by Jenny Green. Using just eight actors (plus two of the most straight-faced comedy dancers you are ever likely to see), the story moved along at a brisk pace, using popular songs and audience participation wherever possible, taking us from Old Peking to Egypt with the help of the funkiest, hippest Genie of
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The Importance Of Being Earnest

The Importance Of Being Earnest

The Importance Of Being Earnest has been described as being “A trivial comedy for serious people”; the play kicks us off in the living room of Mr Algernon Moncrieff, a socialite and all round shirker of obligations. Hilarity ensues in the play when both protagonists are discovered to be using the same fictitious personae in order to impress the woman they wish to marry. Tonight’s production took us in a slightly different direction than I’ve seen before, however, as the play was brought into the twenty first century, with each of the well known and beloved characters being given a
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Wind In The Willows

Wind In The Willows

Taking a trip down to the river or a walk through the woods is always an enjoyable experience, and this was exactly what SOS offered its audience last night as they staged their production of Wind In The Willows. A top quality, entertaining evening out, with strong vocals, slick choreography, creative sets and detailed costumes – what is not to like! Principles of the cast were brilliantly chosen for their roles, with the energetic and bouncy Toad (Richard Peaty) always trying to get in the spotlight! Russell Dutton perfectly played the role of Ratty and his smooth singing voice was
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Beau Jest – The Panto

Beau Jest – The Panto

Paul Reakes is the modern master of pantomime, the author not only of traditional scripts but of new ideas such as productions based on Dick Turpin and Sinbad the Sailor. Perhaps his bravest creative leap is Beau Jest, which bears little resemblance to P C Wren’s original story of the Foreign Legion but tells of Timmy Trundle, wrongly accused of theft, who joins the Legion to forget (yes, the “To forget what?” “I’ve forgotten” joke is in there) and is followed to Africa by his brother, mother and sweetheart. If there are modern masters of pantomime in the local area,
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Ghosts

Ghosts

Ibsen’s Ghosts is not the supernatural tale you might be expecting, but a reference to how the ghosts of someone’s past may continue to haunt their current life and situation. Helene Alving’s personal ghosts re-emerge as the orphanage she planned as a monument to her drunk and abusive (deceased) husband, and a means to ensure her son has a ‘clean’ financial inheritance; but might she be able to exorcise those ghosts by telling her son the truth about his father, or is it too late? Who else might those ghosts be coming to haunt next? This is a play that
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Cinderella

Cinderella

Bishopstoke Players is a small group of locals, eager to please with their annual pantomime. With an adapted version of the traditional tale, the cast of 20-25 put their all into this performance, and going to see the pantomime was a great way to escape the January blues. Kate Robbins’ captivating portrayal of Cinderella alongside the ‘charming’ Prince Charming played by James Gould were quite literally a perfect match – thank goodness the shoe fitted! Their onstage chemistry went hand and hand and they both must be congratulated in holding this show together. Baroness Beaujolais (Katie Pink) and Baron Beaujolais
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