Monday, 1 February 2016

It's Panto time!

"Oh no it isn't!"
"Oh yes it is!"

This past weekend marked the return of Llandrindod Wells Theatre Company's long anticipated pantomime.  This time it was the turn of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to be performed over two days at Llandrindod's very own respected and well known Albert Hall Theatre. 

After discovering from one of my friends at school who was performing in the panto that each show had almost sold out, I hurried up to Coversure earlier in the week to grab some tickets and ensure that I wouldn't miss this fabulous event. Settled in my seat on Saturday night in a packed Albert Hall, I was excited for the show to come. 
"Hello Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls! Welcome to this year's Pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! Brought to you by Llandrindod Wells Theatre Company, your friendly bunch of local amateur performers, musicians, technicians and theatre lovers. We are here because we really enjoy what we do, from the tea and biscuit fueled rehearsals right up to putting a massive smile on all of your faces come the performance. And that is why we would firstly like to thank you, our wonderful audience, for coming out to see us once again and supporting us while getting a cracking bit of entertainment along the way. Please, SHOUT...BOO...HISS...CHEER...SING.. We love to hear you, so make some noise!"
Beginning with a prologue to the background of the character Snow White, introduced by Fairy Fortune; it was clear from that moment everyone within the theatre was engaged with what was happening and we were all drawn into the tale. 

Swiftly lots more characters were introduced and the singing and dancing commenced with all the audience humming along. The show was filled with jokes and funny lines that made us all chuckle...especially with the appearance of the wicked Queen Avarice's jester, Chuckles. Every time he came on the stage the audience had to shout; "Make us chuckle, Chuckles!" and he would tell a joke to make us smile. 

Two other characters that were particularly comical together were Justice Quill and his helper Scribbles, as Justice Quill fought to try and bring Scribbles into the 21st Century with the onset of technology. Nevertheless this always turned out badly as Scribbles would get the wrong end of the stick and confuse what was meant. For example, Scribbles was told to find an 'iPad' but mistakenly came back with an 'eye patch' over his eye. 

And of course, Llandrindod's pantomime would not be complete without a dame and this came in the form of Edna Bucket who provided us with lots of giggles. (Especially when she helped Chuckles receive a cream cake in the face; and not once, but twice!)

The seven dwarfs looked absolutely super with their costumes making them seem like real dwarfs. What was strikingly clever was the way in which their voices were pre-recorded and they were able to sync their actions and movements with the tape.

The mean Queen Avarice was Snow White's evil step mother and was "the meanest queen you've ever seen". She was striving to kill Snow White as after her 18 birthday the young adult would be legally able to take the throne from her.

You all know how the story of Snow White goes...the evil Queen killed Snow White with her magic poisoned apple. Fairy Fortune brought her back to life but with a cost as she was cursed in a deep sleep which could only be broken by a trueloves kiss. 

To save the day, Prince Ferdinand kissed Snow White and she awoke to the revelation that they could marry and take over the kingdom from "the meanest Queen you've ever seen". Wicked Avarice had to face the rest of her life cleaning the toilets and working as a slave.

And so, they all lived happily ever after. 

When I was watching the Panto with cheers, boos and laughter all around, there was such a feeling of community. Everyone was happy. Everyone was excited to see what would happen next and where the next joke came from. Everyone was celebrating the fact the Llandrindod Theatre Company could produce such a successful Pantomime and it was an overwhelming reflection of some of the impressive things this small town can produce. 

I can also tell you I felt proud to be part of this community. Proud everyone could pull together. Proud all the seats were sold out. I felt it was very clear evidence of the strong community we have here in Llandrindod Wells. Every member of the cast, the chorus, the band and the production team of this years pantomime deserved every single round of applause they received over the weekend as they were able to prove to the community successful and amazing things can happen here in Llandrindod Wells.

Congratulations to all involved in creating such a brilliant event. I'm already looking forward to the next one!


Snow White~Sammy Pearce
Queen Avarice~Ros Thomas
Edna Bucket~Mike Gough
Chuckles~Abi Evans
Prince Ferdinand~Lianne Thomas
Fairy Fortune~Lorraine Cadwallader-Jones 
Merlin of the Mirror~Toby Tattersall
Justice Quill~Phil Evans
Scribbles~Ezra Tattersall
Slurp~Andrew Morgan
Brainy~Emma Davies
Smiley~Kate Woosnam
Dozy~Emma Kolamo
Grumbly~Ella Price
Blushful~Danielle Moore
Snoozy~Gemma Halstead
Sniffle~Rhys Gough

Adult Chorus~Claire Bailey, Sian Baynham, Jane Blees, Laura Duggan, Tracey Evans, Hayley Heard, Sue Jackman, Julie Knill, Becki Moore, Kate Rothman, Alison Swabey, Adam Thomas

Junior Chorus~Angharad Edwards, Rhiannon Everett, Cerys Gough, Ellie Mae-Morgan, Amelia Oglethorpe, Millie Price, Sophie Price, Emily Proudman, Jess Swabey

The Poison Apple Band

Keys~Zak Mountford
Lead Guitar~Joel Metcalf
Bass Guitar~Rob Lewis
Drums~John Kerr

Production Team
Stage Manager~Jemma & Mike Thomas
Assisted by~Kay Francis, Calum Morgan & Carys Power
Lighting~Phil Hobbs
Assisted by~Robert Moore & Ffion Morris
Sound Technician~Stephen Leadbetter
Assisted by~Joe Pugh
Wardrobe~Mandy Davies
Props~Strathmore Productions
Press Publicity~Ernie Husson 
Publicity~Jemma & Lianne Thomas
Front of House~Keith Davies
Assisted by~members of the theatre company, family & friends
Musical Director~Zak Mountford
Choreographer~Jemma Thomas
Director~Phil Evans
Producer~Lianne Thomas