Tony Parratt reveiws Jack and the Beanstalk for the Hinckley Times.
Panto is a Christmas cracker
All the usual ingredients for a festive panto were on display as the award winning Trinity Players brought their hilarious production of Jack and the Beanstalk to the stage last week. And leading the laughs as the outrageously blousy Dame Trott was Sefton Winslade, whose cheeky inuendos and sly asides had the audience in stitches. Also adding to the hilarity werethe ever more outrageous costumes and dresses worn as the show went on. And aiding him all the way in the laughter stakes were Matthew Smith and Travis Merry as the Brothers Grimm, who are really evolving into a cracking double-act as they gain more experience and maturity. Youth was really to the fore in many of the principal roles, with Jasmine Merry excellent as Jack Trott, the lad who sells his cow for some beans and her fine singing voice came to the fore in several numbers. Grace Conant matched her in the acting and singing stakesin her role of Lucy, daughter of Baron Tightfist and Jack's love interest. Bruce Grant as the evil Baron soon had the audience booing and hissing his every evil intention to extract ever greater sums of money from his subjects, while Janine Conant as his wife proved his ideal partner.Sometimes even for seasoned panto audiences characters turn up who are not quite what you would expect. And the addition of five brownies who entered the hall at the start of the show and then came in at odd times was to be honest baffling; but most of the audience semmed to accept this, so perhaps it was just me! When Christian Badcoe appeared as Robin Hood it seemed quite acceptable he would be there! Once again, as one of the younger players he showed great potential and was ably supported by Sophie Purcell as Lucy's friend and maid. Sam Hicks as the 'Giant' turned the name on its head, when he appeared, but what he lacked in stature he more than made up for in gravitas and he was a scary 'Giant'. Liz Haigh as Fairy Moonbeam kept proceedings going along, backed by a fine chorus and dancing youngsters, while credit must also be given tothe costumes and scenery changes which were slick and carefully managed. All in all, another top=notch show and a vital Christmas cracker, carefully created under the direction of Andy Johnson.
NIGHT OF ENTERTAINMENT TO CELEBRATE 30 YEARS OF TRINITY PLAYERS
Murder, mayhem and laughs at group's anniversary stage show
A night of murder, mayhem and laughs were the perfect ingrediants for a packed night of entertainment, as Hinckley's Trinity Players celebrated their 30th anniversary in style, writes Tony Parratt. The award-winning group, whose ages range from six to 76, hosted a fun packed revue, with various sketches and playlets illustrating their talents. Deftly compared by Andy Johnson, it was introduced by its founder Linda Smith, who welcomed the packed Trinity Hall. She then went on to feature in "The Art Gallery". Where she led her friend around and commentated on the paintings.But when people wandered into her space, they assumed she was the official guide and took her every comment as expertly based. And as they left, they even left her a healthy tip! But not before several comic moments and exchanges had taken place. Next up was a mini panto, Oh yes it was in flaming June! This was performed by the younger players in Red Hot Cinders, which was a mini version with wicked step sisters and Prince Charming in tow, The audience responded with all the oohs and aaahs and urged along the narrator, who speeded up the action, it proved a real winner. the main event was a three-part murder mystery "Who Killed the Pop Star"? This was set in the mid-80's during the glamour pop period, with twin brothers staring in the hit group Wha-hey! One was talented and moody, who wrote all the songs, while his sibling was good looking, dynamic, charming, but lacking in intelligence and creative abilities. Over a period of time , we meet managers, ex teachers, disgruntled singers who claim they have been ripped off and ex-girlfriends all with an axe to grind. And when Derek Thompson, the creative part of the group is found mauled to death by a tiger in his recording studio, the audience and Detective Leather (Liz Haigh), are left to find the murderer who set the beast free. Needless to say, several clues were missed by most of us, but it was a fascinating riddle well written and acted. Another original and highly entertaining item was "D is for Murder" where every word started with the letter D and was very reminiscent of one of the old Two Ronnies sketches. Along with some well-chosen songs, this celebratory revue demonstrated the whole spectrum of the Players abilities which gave it a lovely community feel, where all ages revelled in a night of good old-fashioned fun.
Trinity Players scoops the
Pantomime Alliance of Leicestershire Blue Balloon
award for best pantomime 2018
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 !
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS RECEIVES RAVE REVIEWS FROM THE HINCKLEY TIMES
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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November 30th - December 3rd 2023.
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