Review: North Norfolk District Council Players, Robin Hood! And the Notif of Sheringham

Action from the North Norfolk District Council pantomime Robin Hood and the Notif or Sheringham. Picture ROB HENRY NNDC Action from the North Norfolk District Council pantomime Robin Hood and the Notif or Sheringham. Picture ROB HENRY NNDC

Friday, January 24, 2014
10:26 AM

It looked a lot more fun than their day jobs.

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For a bunch of people whose 9am-5pm world is probably all about delivering strategic objectives, going forward (in partnership with other agencies, of course), the North Norfolk District Council staff panto cast certainly proved that they knew how to let their hair down.

Many of the audience would have gone home last night convinced that several of them could take up alternative careers.

Among candidates were scriptwriter and first-rate panto dame Steve Hems, head of environmental health, whose excellent dialogue left no joke unturned - old, new, corny and “in” - and was jam-packed with every panto tradition.

There was even room, when a wolf was being taken into the forest, to equip its keeper with a poop-scoop bag, a daily feature of Mr Hems’ departmental life.

He also managed to keep his Good Fairy (Terri Saunders) narrating the tale in rhyming couplets from curtain up to curtain down.

And the talented Panto Loons quartet of accompanying musicians, who were having a ball, looked and sounded as if they could all walk into full-time jobs as rock pros.

Robin Hood was a clever panto choice for NNDC’s players, ripe for jokes about taxation and accounting.

Evil Notif of Sheringham (Paul Neale) extorted cash from the long-suffering populace (“Just like the council” heckled a member of the audience) while gallant Robin (Laura Williamson, who also produced the show) did his best to bring him down and restore King Richard to his rightful place on the throne.

Unforgettable moments included the cast’s take on Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and Will Scarlet (Beverley Els) dancing gangnam style, which prompted repeated “encore” calls.

A special mention for youthful panto director Tom Denny who managed to milk an enormous amount of comedy out of a cameo role as a forest tree.

All the cast seemed to be having a great time and their enjoyment was infectious. A well-rehearsed, rollicking panto which deserves your support, especially as proceeds will go to Nelson’s Journey, a Norfolk charity which supports bereaved children.

■ Performances continue at Sheringham Little Theatre tonight at 7.30pm and tomorrow at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets £8 from the box office on 01263 822347.

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