ARNESBY PANTO 2007Three nights in November saw the climax of 15 months of planning, writing, practising, drinking, rewriting, replanning and finally performing the highly acclaimed pantomime “THE SOUND OF GREASE”.
Playing to packed houses every night, a tidy profit of £700 was achieved, the money mostly to be spent on the fabric of the village hall.
Each evening opened with David Heyes, the scriptwriter, outlining the plot. Telling the story of the three handsome sons of garage owner, Captain Von Trapp, and their ultimate fate of meeting three gorgeous young ladies with a view to long term relationships, possibly more.
Dashing Captain Von Trapp was also to be lucky in love when his destiny was to meet and fall for the very striking and beautiful Sandi who was hired to help make the business profitable, and do all the jobs. The songs from The Sound of Music and Grease were morphed into the various scenes and a great deal of licence was taken with the new words. Some of the singing was excellent, Steph Walkinshaw, as Captain Von Trapp, in particular with her first song “The Bills are Alive”. Brian Randall played the part of Sandi and gave a truly professional touch in illustrating the art of working the audience, making it hard to believe he actually has a proper sensible job during the week.
Penny Elliott, Gillian Hockenhull and Karen Beardsall were Donkey, Fingers and Memo the three Von Trapp sons. They all gave very believable performances, especially Memo.
The Pink Nuns, Sister Lock, Sister Stock and Sister Barrel were Pete Turner, Mark Robinson and Richard Herbert. These “Ladies” brought a whole new meaning to embryonic talent that was nurtured before our eyes and developed into predictable immaturity. The aches and pains suffered by the audience were all from laughing at their antics. The icing on the cake had to be Mark’s unique interpretation of the songs, so bad they were good.
Brief appearances of Mark Cass as the Swift Flash caught everyone unawares, especially those with knowledge of the script. To introduce the contestants in an “X Factor” sketch, Ann Duffin gave a quality performance, also adding humour as the garage delivery man. Our Fairy Godmother, Debbie Dunn, showed us a trick or two and used her magic wand to make things happen we never thought possible.
Steve Dunn was an unlikely X Factor contestant with light hearted innuendo about the local prize winning eatery. However Steve’s greatest triumph was the tipsy policeman Sergeant Drier. As well as the cast there were youngsters entertaining us with dancing to the music from Grease which added to the evening’s enjoyment. The young people were Aimi, Abbie, Tiffany, Grace, Phillipa, Bronwyn, Agnes, Billy, Henry, Joel, Joseph and Wyndham.
The dancing and stage direction were brilliantly produced by choreographer and director Charlotte Edwards, it showed how much time Charlotte spent in preparing the dance scenes. They were an undoubted success. Stage lighting and effects were manipulated by Nigel Walker who was also responsible for the music with help from James Walker.
Amazing costumes for the players were made by Chris Williams, splendid green overalls for the mechanics and bespoke habits for the nuns as well as other in cidentals. Although I understand the undergarments and shoes were chosen for personal comfort by the nuns themselves.
The stage set and props proved to be a difficult task that was expertly completed by Rachel Sawyer with a little help from Christine Cole. Rachel somehow managed to obtain more than a dozen hub caps.
The winter complexions of the cast were transformed to visions of beauty and suave by the professional make -up team of Emily Williams and Marie Turner. Jane Buckby had a front row seat every night prompting where necessary and being the foil of Sandi’s repartee on one occasion.
Bringing it all together Jenny Lees and Liza Welton took care of administration and angst with additional stage hand duties at each show. To sum up a lot of talented people had a chance to add value to their community and succeeded hands down with an enjoyable panto.
Will there be another, My Fair Oliver? Wait and see!
(Nigel also has some video of the show and it is hoped that we can learn the necessary technology to add it to this page.)