GOSSIP about shows & panto
OUR NEXT MUSICAL
WATCH THIS SPACE for information on future productions coming soon in 2020.
Our Pantomime for January 2021 will be the classic ALADDIN
more information to follow.
For information about joining the Society see the NEW MEMBERS page.
Sister Act-October 2019
If you want to see some pictures and the NODA report of our production of Sister Act then go to our previous shows page and click on that show.
Here’s the NODA review for our pantomime Cinderella.
CINDERELLA (Alan Frayn)
NEWTON ABBOTT & DISTRICT MUSICAL COMEDY SOCIETY
ALEXANDRA THEATRE – JAN 2020
Dir : Louise Bennett
MD : John Amery
Chor : Lis Law
Newton always put on a great panto and this was no exception . This was Louise‘s first attempt at directing a show and I know that she approached it with some trepidation, but she need not have worried. Backed by a very experienced team she produced to show to be proud of. I know she was keen to realise her vision of the show and I think that she managed this.
Alan Frayn scripts are my favourite pantomime scripts, and I am very familiar with this one having directed it three times, so I was interested to see what the society would make of it. There are some good set piece routines although it was a shame the Boudoir scene wasn’t used as that works very well.
There was a very strong lineup of principles headed up by a very feisty Cinderella played by Naomi Wade. Naomi has a great singing voice used to advantage here. She hasn’t been seen much on stage of late so hopefully this marks a return. Her playmate Buttons was beautifully played by Jordan Kennard who gave us a lively, friendly, and appealing buttons with some nifty dance steps thrown in for good measure.
The ugly sisters were played by a male and female duo and I did wonder how this would work, but the answer was that it worked very well indeed in the capable hands of Andrew Malcolm and Sarah Mallet. They struck just the right balance between nastiness and comedy so that they didn’t turn the audience against them but were able to manage to extract the boos. I did think initially they struggled to get the audience booing because unusually they had the group list to read out and this perhaps confused people as to their nasty intent !!! Sarah , particularly, had a nice line is bitchy put downs.
The comedy pair of Bodget and Legget , played by Isabel Burley and Katie Parr, presented a nice weird and off the wall twosome. Katie always likes to present herself as some sort of far out weird punky character and this year was no exception. They had two good routines and in fact managed the wallpapering scene in act two which I always tend to cut. This scene had some very good business with two planks of wood which was very entertaining.
Prince Charming and Dandini were played traditionally by Emily Carter and Sarah Oxenham. They made a striking pair and produced some very good vocals.
Making her first appearance in a Newton show, Amanda Malcolm was a very motherly fairy godmother. She gave a nice gentle performance which was very appealing.
The Baron and Baroness completed the principal lineup and were nicely played by Steve Smith and Kirstie Blackler Hinks . Kirsty lorded it very nicely over Steve who presented his character as a slightly befuddled and overawed chap. They were a nice foil to the more manic goings on from the comedy pairs and Buttons.
There was a great choice of music for this panto and most of the song slots in the script had been used. Songs were wisely kept to a very short length which ensured that nothing outstayed its welcome. Choreography is always a strong point with the Newton pantos and Liz Law had drilled the cast to within an inch of their lives, and the chorus and dancers produced some very good work. The musical numbers were supported by a great band as usual.
Scenery and costumes were up to the standard one expects here. The principles costumes were particularly good and appeared to match each other and there was a nice range of costume changes for the company.
Technically things just keep on getting better and better and the lighting was exceptionally good. I do like using the LED light strips around the edge of all the stage portals as this produces a very modern and “techie” feel. The lighting for the transformation scene and the traditional act one finale with the coach was very attractive indeed.
My only criticism was that initially I felt that there was some issues with pacing and that some of the characters could’ve delivered their lines, in the initial scenes, somewhat faster, but once everyone got into their stride everything was fine. I would’ve also liked more musical intros and exits and more action being underlined by the percussion.
Newton always produce a great panto and this was no exception and the huge reception by the audience at the end left the cast in no doubt as to the impact of the show.