Reviews

Aladdin, A Pantomime

Aladdin, A Pantomime

Aladdin has proved to be a very popular choice of production in the local area this winter, whether a full-blown traditional pantomime, Disney’s Junior version or another musical variation, and I wasn’t sure before tonight’s production which version I would be seeing. In all honesty, that still wasn’t clear by the end of the evening as the production, written by Director Jayne Stephens, seems to fall somewhere between all forms of the tale. The scattered familiar aspects of pantomime are there, but seem more an aside to the audience within a new telling of an old, established story than an
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Bedroom Farce

Bedroom Farce

Bedroom Farce, a comedy written by Alan Ayckbourn, is set in the 1970s with a cast consisting of four couples of varying ages. Ayckbourn’s clever uses of time and space makes this a very intricate and sophisticated comedy, whilst portraying the deterioration and rebuilding of relationships between the younger and older generations. The clever set consists of three beds depicting three separate bedrooms with the middle bedroom on a raised plinth. This was an effective use of space where each vignette was dressed appropriately for the age of the occupants. The lighting is technically impressive and very effective, allowing each
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The Railway Children

The Railway Children

The Railway Children tells the story of an Edwardian family forced to relocate from London to a house (The Three Chimneys) near the railway line in Yorkshire, after their father, a high-ranking civil servant at the Foreign Office, is imprisoned after being accused of spying. The story follows the trio of children (Bobby, Peter and Phyllis) in their various adventures and all of the people they meet along the way. This version of the story by Mike Kenny, was fast paced, humorous and full of enjoyment. Using the three children to retell the story, this production cleverly depicted the story
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Jack And The Beanstalk

Jack And The Beanstalk

Gone are the days when you would attend a pantomime expecting to see tired jokes, tacky scenery and ongoing dropped lines. Pantomime has reached a golden age of modernization, bringing with it a real show which has something for everyone. This year Highcliffe Charity Players have produced a colourful spectacle, with a witty script, talented cast and a number of gags to make even the most serious person chuckle. Whilst no pantomime can fully rely on their script to provide all of the expected humour, it certainly helps! Written by Stephen Hutt and Charles Michael Duke, the script boasts a
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Disney’s Aladdin Jr

Disney’s Aladdin Jr

This Disney Aladdin, albeit in its junior version, bounced off the rafters with energy and verve. Hats off to the backing track operator who kept up with slick paced dialogue and vibrant choreography to keep this well oiled favourite on track, literally. The Genie, beautifully judged by Abbie Miller, an energetic live wire of talent, opened the proceedings with great stage presence, her voice, stance and character phasing out any other comparisons within moments, almost bounding onto the stage such was her obvious joy in the role. As Aladdin, Joe Mawby was a beaming wide eyed talent with a great
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Dick Whittington

Dick Whittington

After the run of ‘professional’ pantomime season ends, the turn of amateur societies to take up the mantle comes around. Whilst the trend to move away from convention continues in favour of ‘big’ stars and awe-inspiring special effects, this is certainly not the case in amateur theatre whose scripts instead tend to rely heavily on the traditionalisms of pantomime; lots of thigh slapping, the opposite genders in the roles plus the iconic “It’s behind you” segment. This works perfectly for the Swanage Drama Company whose community spirit lends itself to plenty of audience interaction, half of whom were rooting for
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