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Babes in the Wood

 
 
NODA Review
 

This panto was written for the society by the director Leo Appleton and it was lovely to see something so different , from the very first entrance of Elspeth Fisher as  a sparkling Fairy Christmas we knew we were going to have some fun. The story , based in Happyeveraftershire, ruled by the Grand Old Duke of York (Tim Foy) and his son Prince Harry (Les Longley ) included characters  based on traditional nursery rhymes and stories, the younger members of this large cast all had their own named role which they acted and sang with great enjoyment. Adam Cusack (Jack ) and Freya Latham (Jill) played the Babes with confidence , both having good clear speech and tuneful singing voices ,as they were  chased for their special lockets by  Joseph Coyne as the Evil Baron Hardaker along with Linda Hansen (Smash ) and Emerald Hickey (Grab),their facial expressions and body movements providing many funny  moments. There are always the “goodies” to save the Babes with Lisa Degeir-Mawdsley playing a strong Robin Hood and Erin Bretherton as an attractive Maid Marion ,who , along with their group of Merry Men provided some  lively musical numbers , while the Amazon Women caused great hilarity with their entrance which included tea-trolley , afternoon tea and cakes and Knitting !!!  Not only did Leo Appleton write the script ,and direct the show but he also put on the frocks to become an excellent Dame Trot , never overplaying the role but encouraging the audience to become part of the show – the youngsters around me certainly had fun ,dancing ,singing and responding all evening – especially to the  “He’s behind you Spider”. All the musical numbers ,with both live music and backing tracks , were well rehearsed, the movement well suited to the wide age group.  The sound was clear, the costumes were bright and suited to the roles ,while the use of projections complemented the simple set .  Thank you to everyone involved in this production  for a really enjoyable evening

 

Review: Babes in the Wood – The Waterloo & Crosby Theatre Company

Starry Nights Theatre, Litherland High School

6 to 8 December and 13 to 15 December 2013

Reviewed on Sunday 8 December

The land of Happilyeveraftershire has arrived in Litherland! Leo Appleton has written and directed a wonderfully traditional pantomime – as well as endearing the audience to his bosom as he cavorts around the stage as Dame Trot.

With almost sixty cast members – most of them children - this is a huge undertaking but Leo takes it in his stride. The children fling themselves wholeheartedly into their roles as they play nursery rhyme characters and merry men; they are adorable, especially young Adam Cusack and Freya Latham as the babes Jack and Jill.

Musicians Ann Dickinson, Charlie Corkin and Tony Peart play throughout with gusto and Claudia Molyneux thrills with her choreography.

Elspeth Fisher makes an outrageous Fairy Christmas bedecked in glorious red and silver and Tim Foy rises to the occasion as the Grand Old Duke of York who is easily confused especially by his son, Hapless Prince Harry, playfully portrayed by Les Longley making his entrance on a pink horse.

Gasps around the auditorium when the babes are kidnapped by Smash (Linda Hansen) and Grab (Emerald Hickey) on orders of Baron Hardaker. Feisty Joseph Coyne plays up to the booing as the evil Baron but his feckless henchmen turn out to be not so nasty after all. They have some wonderful expressions and are very funny.

Interspersed with tales of Robin Hood you can imagine who brings the babes back to safety. Oh yes he does! Lisa Degeir-Mawdsley is a perfect Robin and this is where romance blossoms. Erin Bretherton gives an engaging performance as Marion who, quite naturally, falls in love with Robin.

But ... the tale does not end here!

Book tickets for this laugh-out-loud heart-warming show to discover who turns out to be the long-lost sister of the babes!

(Box Office 0151 288 6752/051 924 0231)

Score: 9/10 – a riot of colour, laughter and fun!

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