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It was a pantomime that was perfect for the xmas season and a real old fashion one to boot. Colour costumes, great scenes, wonderful music, cleaver dancing and skilful acting made this a pantomine to look forward to. It is "Jack and the Beanstalk" and it sure did appeal to all ages. It ran for one week with three sessions on the final Saturday with the proceeds being donated to charity. The cast as professional as they were showed no signs of weariness.
Alan Wright played the part of Dame Durden and his ability to bounce and fall around the place plus his facial expressions made him the perfect person to act this part. Daisy the cow the Dame's only asset was performed well with legs, tail and face intruding into all situations. Under the brown animal coat was Hellen Giles and Anne-Marie Hardy.
Jack the boy was played with just the right amount of tempo and Helen Williamson whose soprano voice was excellent for this part.
Airdry McKenzie played her part well as Princess Felicia, a story book picture in powder blue and diamonds. She had warmth and sincerity in this role and her voice was delightful to the ear.
Simple Simon who had to get the audience involved in his character did a great job by getting the children to yell out "Steady Simon" when he got nervous. This is not always an easy thing to do but Des Arnott did it well.
Jumping Joan who was stolen by the giant if for Gay Boniface a part with a good bit of sentiment, humor and engaging quaintness.
As Demon Pestblight the scheming villian of the piece, Gussie Johnson had a role exactly to her liking, which is a lot of comedy, and makes the most of her part when spells misfire.
Vanya Shaw has the charm and personality to play the part of the Good Fairy, dressed in pink and a glittering tiara, she was radiant as anyone could wish to see in Fairy Evergreen.
Bewildered King Umpty is the Umpteenth is a typical pantomime character of flouted authority. David Miller plays him perfectly being subjected to indignities in the cause of fun, but never losing his own dignity.
Joe Harding who has played many classic roles, makes a great dunderheaded droll and his yodelling was remarkable. Brian Jones has a flair for ludicrous and a light touch in expressing it.
Giant Blunderbore is the ultimate in race integration and this was protrayed well by Charles Barlow with a white face and Eric Dawson with a black face. He has of course three legs and sang "I am Jake the Fake" with full effect.
Bruce Austin played the "pieman" well and showed that he was always done out of a deal.
The Village of "Daffledowndilly" is as old world as one could imagine and the village came alive with puppets, gypsies, fat ladies, jugglers, strongmen and acrobats. All these parts were played by children and there was also a scene with a maypole which made a great spectacle.
Elsie Kennedy-Simpson who was the chorus mistress and Pamela Glen the ballet mistress did professional jobs and one they could be very proud of.
The Pantomime in total had 15 Principle parts, a chorus of 22, a children's chorus of 20, a senior mime group of 8, a children's mime group of 14 and a ballet of six plus 12 maypole dancers.
The co-producers of Ngaire McLeod and Alan Bryce achieved continuity, great pace and a pantomime that showed fun and happiness throughout. Although it went for three hours it did not drag and all scenes were necessary to tell the story.
It had good houses throughout the week which was credit to everyone involved.
Gussie Johnson is still involved in plays click button text below to find out more.......
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