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 (Richard Bevis-Lacey) had fabulous onstage rapport. Owen Pugh (Buttons) had the audience participation aspect of panto down to a fine art and Kimberly Jones played a sparkly Fairy Godmother – I only wish the script had included more of her part, to add to the panto magic and sparkle!
The chorus enthusiastically performed a few routines, albeit a little out of time in places, however the four young children in the chorus were full of energy and excitement.
Hattie and Mattie (Pete Burton and Jon Morgan) were walking comedy, with some great one-liners, which had a lot of the audience giggling away. One impressive part of these two was the amount of costumes they had – I believe they had a different costume nearly every time they came on stage and for this the costume department of Julia Forster and Wendy and Jon Morgan should be congratulated.
The Duke of Verruca (Drew Craddock) had the audience booing from the moment he stepped on stage. His two side kicks Nip and Tuck (Dale Yarney and Adrian Barrett) soon realised his evil plan and tried not to get caught up in it all. These two were full of energy on stage and added to the overall enjoyment of this performance.
Other members of the cast had smaller walk on roles which again added to the overall production and had the audience responding, laughing, booing and hissing!
There were a couple of laboured scenes in the second half, however overall, the audience really enjoyed this typical village pantomime in a traditional village hall, and it was clear just how much the group enjoy performing together.
Congratulations must go to the whole group for their continued support to the charity Action For Children.
Get into your carriages and head down to Bishopstoke Memorial Hall to catch this panto before it’s too late! Tickets are £8 and there are two performances today (25 January).