By RICHARD BATSON
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Overstrand Parish Hall
Parish pantos are all about the audience seeing people they know if a different light, including the men wearing frocks - as well as the fun and fellowship engendered among villagers working together.
There are no professional production values - so a green bit of green cloth is obviously a prickly bush - but that doesn’t matter, and becomes part of the joke,
Sleeping Bewty was the latest creation of the charity committee from the White Horse pub, and played to sell out audiences over three nights.
A plot, which the committee and cast embellished, combined the title role beautiful girl (Carol Walker) being awoken from her slumbers (under a net curtain) by Prince Handy Handsome (Andy Farnell leaping from his bass in he orchestra pit).
But it also worked in Robina Hood (Fiona Davies showcasing her folk singing and step dancing skills, and a glowing-eyed spectral hound Shuck (Bill Wallace) for good measure.
The script was laced with local jokes and the inevitable seaside postcard smut (what did pantos do before Viagra was invented?), and leapt ADHD-style from wood, to castle, to christening, fun songs and dance routines - all on a stage the size of a dining table.
But the real stars were the have-a-go cast of local folk - some with am dram experience, but others just prepared to have a go for fun and a good cause.
Other special mentions should go to the knockabout ugly sisters Cesspit (Guy Bartlett) and Saggy (Roger Kimp), the evil (and who wouldn’t be if they had bright green hair) Mick Murphy and his Jester son Max, along with the sweet-voiced Fairy Good Madeleine Hudson, and vivacious non-ugly sister Kayesera (Kay Abel).
The cast had to readjust at the 11th hour when two members Geoff and Chris Turner were injured in a road accident, resulting in director Maggie Midgley stepping in as the Sheriff of Northrepps.
Good fun, and good funds with £900 raised for the Nelson’s Journey children’s bereavement charity - along with an after-show buzz which already sparking talk of the next show.