Reviews

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The first problem a director faces with Snow White is what to do about the dwarfs. Using children is limiting, but Highcliffe and the surrounding area presumably do not have more than an average proportion of vertically challenged would-be actors. To find out how directors Paul Barrington and Charles Michael Duke solve the problem, you will have to see the show, but suffice to say that local gardeners may find it difficult to buy a pair of knee-pads for a while. It works very well and adds a lot to the comedy, even if seven slowly shuffling dwarfs do make
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An Italian Straw Hat

It can be a dull old time after Christmas and New Year: the parties are all over and spring still seems a long way away. How better to dispel the blues than with a classic farce? As one character in this production says, ‘It’s splendid, it’s chivalrous and it’s French!’ In fact this production is quintessentially French, first performed in Paris in 1851 and later as a silent film comedy in 1928. That is quite a pedigree, both forms requiring – as is still the case today – perfect timing, slick choreography and a willing suspension of disbelief. The plot
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Blood and Ice

If you think by going to this production, you are going to get another version of Frankenstein, the classic Gothic horror story, think again. This play by Liz Lochhead is much more of a deep investigation into the lives of some of our most famous, infamous writers, philosophers and politicians. In that respect, it is a very ambitious play. Is a play in fact the right medium at all for this subject matter? Please believe your humble critic here: I had done my homework, re-read the novel, watched a video and mugged up on Wikipedia. I was intrigued to know
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Outside Edge

When I realised that this show was about a game of cricket, I was a bit worried that it was not going to be for me, as I know very little about cricket. Just in case you might be under the same delusion, let me assure you that the game of cricket is largely incidental to this comedy about the inter-personal relationships of five members of cricket team and their wives, ex-wives and girlfriends. It probably helps to understand some of the humour if you do come from a cricket-playing nation – but I imagine that most of the Barrington
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Dick Whittington

In the broad church of theatre, village hall pantomime has its own niche. It may be a comparatively lowly and insignificant niche, but don’t underestimate the pleasure that it gives to performers and audiences. People who appear on stage only once a year and have no great pretensions to serious dramatic talent work their socks off to put on the best show they can, often for charity. The rapport with the audience, which is such an integral part of panto, is already there because most of the audience out front are friends, family and neighbours who revel in the local
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Beauty and the Beast

Romsey Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (RAODS) has a long tradition of producing excellent family pantomimes, often churning out shows that will rival the professionals. This year’s offering is a version of Beauty and the Beast, but one that is significantly different from the Disney version which people know and love so well: there is no talking teapot or singing candlestick. Instead there are the ‘hero’ – Felix, a giant French poodle who thinks he is human – and the traditional Dame, Mme. Du Pamplemousse (Ma to her friends!). However, the differences make for a fun-filled show that has the
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