There should always be room for a traditional panto
There's something inherently liberating about being able to boo and hiss someone and not feel in the least bit embarassed about it, writes Tony Parrat.
Yes it's panto time again and where better to see it than in the surrounding of a welcoming church hall packed with relatives and friends, familiar with all the heart-warming traditions of the genre.
Trinity Players production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had virtually every generation of actor in it, which really did give it a lovely warm family feel.
But with some great set designs, stunning costumes and inspired musicianship from David Frost, there was nothing remotely amateurish about this Andy Johnson production.
Principal boo target as Queen Elvira was Linda Smith, who certainly earned all the wrath of the audience as she plotted to kill Snow White (Jasmine Merry) and win the hand of Prince Caspian (Kayleigh Brown).
But she was continually thwarted in her plans by a trio of haples, but kind-hearted souls, played by Sefton Winslade as Nurse Nellie, Matthew Smith as Muddles and Travis Merry as Igor.
These three had the crowd in hysterics and Sefton's over the top portrayal as the blousy nurse was hilarious, especially when he singled out one rather unfortunate male member of the audience, who was the target of his saucy entreaties.
Matthew and Travis showed a lot of promise as the two youngsters whose speciality was in the slapstick variety, especially one clever decorating scene where wallpaper and paste were plastered in every direction, except the right one.
Jasmine Merry, taking the title role, proved a fine actress, with a lovely singing voice, who combined perfectly with Kayleigh (Prince Caspian) in their duets.
Maureen Quittentton was all sparkle and magic as Fairy Snowdrop, who took us all into a world of fantasy,and to the home of the Seven Dwarfs, who helped to save Snow White.
And society stalwart John Simpson was a magisterial Lord Chancellor.
The " magnificent seven" were the perfect troupe, providing fun, laughter and sympathy, while also displaying nifty footworkas they burst into song with their trademark Hi Ho as they set off to work.
And credit must also be paid to the many young dancers and singers, who worked their little socks off and provided backing as villagers,ghosts and woodland animals Snow White and her gang , met on their adventures.
Say what you like, there is always room for a traditional panto, especially one where at the end, most of the cast walk off the stage, to be backslapped by their families and friends, for a great show.
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Local Panto Group donate to British Red Cross in Aid of Manchester Appeal
Its nearly July which must mean panto time , oh no it doesn’t ...but it does mean that it is time for the Trinity Players Drama Group to begin casting for this Decembers panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. After last year’s performance of Goldilocks and the Three Bears they attended their annual Pantomime of Leicestershire awards evening held in Leicester where many Leicestershire groups get together in March each year to celebrate the great British panto tradition . Trinity Chairman Andy Johnson says “ we all have a great time getting together to bring the people of Hinckley a good laugh each year , at the awards evening it was one of the groups youngest members seven year old Ella Taylor who by chance selected Trinity to receive the charity cheque. The cheque for £100 was received a few weeks after , in light of recent events we felt that we should donate this through the British Red Cross to the Manchester Emergency Appeal . The British Red Cross provide emergency support to people in crisis in the UK and around the world . Emergency support has also more recently been provided to victims of the Terror attacks both in London and Manchester and community assistance following the tragic Grenfell Towers fire. The cheque was handed over to Shop Manager Susan Forryan by myself and Brenda Frost who is a member of our group and a volunteer at the British Red Cross Shop . Susan says , If you have any donations or items that can be sold the shop they are always welcome to receive these . “
The Pantomime Alliance of Leicestershire held its 17th salute to panto on Saturday 24th March 2018 at Winstanley Community College, Braunstone Town Leicester. 19 local amateur dramatic groups from all over Leicestershire were all eagerly contesting the awards. 4 groups including ourselves were performing snippets of our panto on the evening. We were lucky enough to be nominated for 15 out of the 24 awards (which is unheard of) we went on to win 6 of the awards including the coverted Blue Balloon trophy for the best panto 2018, much to all of the cast and crews shock and excitement.
we received nominations for
Front of house - Lynn Bradley
Lighting - operated by Luke Winslade, programmed and designed by Aiden Johnson
Set design - Paul Smith
Costume - Lisa Merry, Marianne Smith and Brenda Frost
Singing - cast
Director - Andy Johnson assisted by Sally Sisson
Magical being - Maureen Quittenton as Fairy Snowdrop
Principal girl - Jasmine Merry as Snow White
Principal boy - Kayleigh Brown as Prince Caspian
the 6 awards we won
Special recognition for most uplifting opening song and santa - Andy Johnson, Lisa Merry
and Richard Bartlam as Santa
Cameo role - Sam Hicks as the white rabbit
Young male performer- Matthew Smith as Muddles
Young female performer - Grace Conant as Casey Dwarf
Comedy act - Travis Merry and Matthew Smith as Igor and Muddles
And then to top it all we won the Blue Balloon trophy for the best panto of the year.
All I can say is what a team!!!
Congratulations and thank you to you all for all your hard work both on and off the stage.
Roll on next year !