‘Mother Goose’ presented by KD Theatre Productions at Beechurst Hall Soham 2nd December 2010

 The pantomime season this year certainly began with a flourish in the production of ‘Mother Goose’ at Soham. Writer/director Daniel Bell knew his stuff. The enthusiastic audience warmed to events immediately and there was no hesitation in booing the dastardly baddy Demon of Discontent (played by Tommy D Kelley) or responding loudly ‘Don’t touch the plant!’ when darling little Lana the Lamb (Katie Sarll) was tempted to approach Silly Billy’s pride and joy. This show had all the ingredients for success: a lively, swiftly moving plot, a stage full of colourful characters and first class dancers, a script full poetry and corny jokes, and a series of invigorating and beautifully sung musical numbers. Fairy Snow Drop (Robyn Howe) and her cheery aura of happiness was the perfect foil for the evil Demon of Discontent. Priscilla the Magic Goose (Jake Straw) and her amazing golden eggs assumed an endearing character of her own while the pivotal role in the show was undoubtedly Mother Goose (Daniel Bell). One never knew what to expect with Mother Goose — she had us thoroughly entertained and her incredible costumes added considerable zest to the wow factor. Were they fish, was that a Christmas tree or was that a bucket on her head and was she wearing a table and tea set round her middle? The host of customary characters swept us along as the tale of Mother Goose and her woes unfolded. Ben (Jack Shorney) and Jerry (Susannah Martin) were a wonderful, hilarious double act raising the roof with their antics. Beautiful Mary (Karina Locke) and pantomime prince charming Tom (Lucy Bell) added romantic flavor while Squire Moneybags and The King of Gooseland (Ben Elgar) gave of touch of authority and, in the part of Squire Moneybags, and large dash of greed and cruelty that made Mother Goose’s life so difficult. One of the most effective and likeable personalities was Silly Billy (Ryan Hutton). The Singers: Chloe Jones, Emily Smith, Molly Dunnett, Annabelle Davies moved and harmonized deliciously. The Dancers (Mollie Shaw, Emma Sutton, Hanna Pyrah and Emily Robinson), the Junior Dancers (Lucy Wills, Sapphire Locke, Zara Minns, Niamh Hutton, Jennie Bingham, and Ellie Newman) and The Panto Babes (Charlotte Johnson, Ellen Davies, Amy Davies, Abbie Bushel, Emily Gordon, Josh Bayley and Natasha Shorney) swirled about the stage gracefully and swiftly with a highly accomplished technique that added atmosphere and vitality to events. Choreographer Katherine Hickmott is to be congratulated for such intriguing designs. The production was packed with ideas and a sword fight, slapstick fun at Bertie’s Barn, a ghost, huge balloons, a highly amusing Sugar Plum Fairy take-off and the ‘ah’ factor unforgettably portrayed by the little ones were all par for the course. The Band was wonderful and the sound people are to be congratulated for having the right level of volume, so rare in productions these days. Performers included Keys Melody Bell, Bass Tom Claringbold, Guitar Chris Bradbury, Trumpet Mike O’Reilly, Saxophone Mark Bell, Clarinet Tim Taberner, and Percussion Tom Cockerton. This was a wonderful production which brought tremendous cheer to the packed audience on such a cold and dark winter’s night. Contact: danielbell@kdtheatreproductions.co.uk

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