North West Essex Theatre Guild

 

LITTLE WALTHAM DRAMA CLUB

"TOM. THE PIPER's SON"

The Memorial Hall, Little Waltham - 17 January 2001

 

A traditional pantomime adapted from a Norman Robbins original script by the Producer.

 

FRONT OF HOUSE

Warm welcome from the front of house staff, refreshments offered in the interval, thank you. Two copies of the programme, very useful to have one to scribble on. Your programmes are always full of such interesting information, I did not know about the pastry pigs, full marks! Very good illustrated programme, list of songs and which characters singing them is so helpful. Audience participation words listed, great. Strobe warning nice and prominent, good.

 

PRESENTATION

The hall was nice and warm and friendly, with music playing. The playing cards around the proscenium arch were very good. Overture, lovely. The lights could have gone right down during the overture, I think because the auditorium lights were on people continued to talk and I would rather settle down and listen to the overture. Nice medley of songs played, really good.

 

SETS, FURNITURE AND PROPS

Hardly any furniture to speak of. Props were good. I thought the backdrops were very, very good indeed, they conjured up the right atmosphere for each scene and left space for the cast, Excellent.

 

COSTUMES

Costumes were well done on the whole, using the nursery rhyme characters was a good idea, so nice not to see the "chorus" in all the same outfits. Miss Muffet looked particularly pretty, The hats/bonnets etc. were goad. Medusa looked magnificent and Fairy Harmony looked lovely. Princess Diamond was rather too "posh" in her tiara and diamonds for daytime wear, better to keep all that for the finale. I liked her (and the King and Queen) finale costumes very much. I don't like to see modern tights. From the audience viewpoint they just look like bare legs, please try and get some coloured tights. I also saw some rather modern shoes. Dame's costumes were many and varied but then again, shoes on a Dame? Boots reinforce that fact that this is a man dressed as a woman and not a man in drag. Kitty Fisher's dress at the Fayre looked a bit too much like a wedding dress, although the sash and head-dress were lovely. The Knave's costume was excellent. King and Queen, Jack Horner, Georgie Porgie, Ship's Captain were all- appropriate. Nanny's costume was very good indeed. Ronnie and Reggie looked as though they had stepped out of the t,v. screen or film, great. Sailor costumes very good indeed.

 

MAKE-UP AND HAIR

Make-up and hair were good, particularly Knave and Medusa, her make-up deserves congratulations. Plenty of wig changes for the Dame, Georgie's wig was good, also the Princess.

 

LIGHTING/SOUND

Lighting was subtle and appropriate throughout. Sound effects were very good, also the lightning, fog etc. The "Silvery Moon" sketch was very funny. Not sure if you or the band were responsible for the taped music but it was very effective and well managed.

 

MUSIC

Excellent musical direction. It makes my evening to have a live band, and they are all so good, you are very lucky to have them. We had a nice overture, a prelude to Act II, and all the musicians contributed considerably throughout the whole show with themes for the characters and special effects when needed. Good accompaniment for the songs. Excellent stuff. Congratulations to you all.

 

PRODUCTION AND CHOREOGRAPHY

Very, very good production, nice and pacey, one or two pauses but nothing significant.

The Prologue, Knave's entrance, was so effective. Lovely bright smiley opening number. All the production numbers were well sung. Ronnie and Reggie theme music was great. Nice use of the auditorium. The "totterington-ometer arrow" was a good running theme.

You do very well with your choreography, everyone knew what they were doing and the steps were fairly simple. Tom could have taken his hat off when greeting the Princess, and how about a little bow. Where are my thigh slaps? Lovely to' see. some slapstick at last, it went off very well. By the way I do have a recipe for a non-stinging, edible custard pie, let me know if you would like it. I was a little uncomfortable with Nanny's inhaler? As already said I loved the overture and the prelude to Act II, it adds a really professional touch to the evening. Congratulations on a very good production.

 

THE KNAVE OF HEARTS

Very impressive entrance, you looked wonderfully sinister and you maintained that throughout the show, very nasty. Good deliberate speeches. "Who Can I Turn To" came over extremely well, nice singing voice.

 

MEDUSA

Your entrance also was impressive and you too were really nasty, you paired up well with The Knave, great stuff. You make-up and costume were excellent, particularly' your head-dress. Nice studied delivery. Great stuff.

 

FAIRY HARMONY

You looked really lovely, very fairylike. Good costume, particularly your head-dress.

Your speeches were a little on the speedy side at times. I'm pleased you kept your wand in your right hand. Unusual wand, it matched your costume beautifully.

 

JACK HORNER

It is sometimes difficult to play second principal boy but you made a good job of this, you looked good and gave a nice confident performance. Well done.

 

 

KITTY FISHER

I mentioned your rather fussy dress at the Fayre, I would have liked to have seen you a bit more "rustic". You gave a good performance, nice and cheerful, in keeping with the script. Well done.

 

TOM SPRIGHTLY

Very nice performance this, you looked as if you had just stepped out of the nursery rhyme. Songs came over well, "Gonna Live Till I Die" and your duet with the Princess, very nice indeed. All I needed was the odd thigh slap!

 

DAME SPRIGHTLY

So many wigs and so many costumes! I've mentioned shoes/boots under costume.

Songs were good, "Silvery Moon" and the rock number were great. You maintained a very upbeat performance all through. Well done.

 

PRINCESS DIAMOND

Well done Princess. I realise you were wearing diamonds because of your name but I would have liked a diamond patterned dress or something pretty like that but then that is the costume department, not you. Nice bouncy style with your performance. Duet with Tom was lovely.

 

NANNY

I've mentioned the inhaler under production. You look absolutely great, costume was a real treat. Very funny performance. Well done.

 

GEORGIE PORGY

You made a very good start, the audience warmed to you immediately, you had a nice rapport

with them. You were confidently casual which was good characterisation but towards the end you seemed a little over casual, I'm sure that was not your intention. Your "Silvery Moon" duet with the dame was a treat, so was the Elvis number.

 

RONNIE AND REGGIE

You `orrible pair! You were terrific. Lovely entrances (a tad late on occasion, question of timing here, you waiting for the band or the band waiting for you - get it sorted!) and your theme music added a lot. Your scene with The Knave was great, as was your walkabout in the auditorium looking for sweets. Ronnie, you should not have eaten that sweetie that a certain lady in the audience gave you, but of course you realised that as soon as you opened your mouth to speak. And she should have known better! Your slapstick went off well, so nice to see some at last. Excellent performances. Very well done. My spellchecker offered me Bonnie and Reggae for Ronnie and Reggie! !

 

OLD KING COLE

Standard king-like performance here. Bit vague and doddery. Nice.

 

OUEEN MATILDA

A slightly understated performance I thought, you need to be a bit more over the top for panto. You say in the programme your confidence was a bit shaky. You have no need to worry, you did very well.                                                                                                           ,

PIE SELLER

Nice competent performance here, you did what was required and you did it well.

 

SHIP's CAPTAIN

Well done Captain, you certainly looked the part, nice performance.

 

GORILLA

Animal characters in panto are called "skin" parts and are always very popular. Very well done indeed, super costume. See ** below.

 

CHORUS

Well done chorus, you sang and danced well. Nice movement on stage. Good to look at.

 

CONCLUSION

Very good show indeed. Everything went well. Lovely bright smiley singing and dancing. The atmosphere was always upbeat. Some super performances. Thank you for inviting me, I always enjoy a visit to Little Waltham.

 

 

 

Liz James

 

 

 

 

Ee’s behind you”, they cried, as the grilla they spied,

From out of the woods he did come;

A rum old joker. Who carries a poker,

And sticks it right up your bum!!!!