Review: Friends of Norfolk Dialect panto The Wizard of Ouse

A scene from the Friends of Norfolk Dialect's Wizard of Ouse panto at East Tuddenham Village Hall. P

A scene from the Friends of Norfolk Dialect's Wizard of Ouse panto at East Tuddenham Village Hall. Picture: ALAN COOPER - Credit: Archant

Suffen rum happened when the Friends of Norfolk Dialect (Fond) scriptwriters got to work on their panto version of the Wizard of Oz, performed in East Tuddenham Village Hall.

Monica Rackham as the Wicked Witch of the West with narrator Colin Burleigh in the Friends of Norfol

Monica Rackham as the Wicked Witch of the West with narrator Colin Burleigh in the Friends of Norfolk Dialect panto The Wizard of Ouse. Picture: JOHN COOPER - Credit: Archant

Mum and daughter Monica and Diana Rackham decided to dew diffrunt and heroine Dorothy became Gal Dotty (played by Diana, Fond chairman), blown away by a tornado to a world where her new friends included a mawkin (scarecrow Tina Chamberlain).

In the mawther's own words: 'My wad that wind wus mighty fierce, my heart alive that blew…'

As Dotty and her gang followed the 'long Tarmac road' (the A11) to seek help from the Wizard of Ouse, they encountered morris dancers, munchkins and witches good and bad.

We knew at once that the Wizard (Norman Hart) was probably speaking a load of ole squit.

The full cast of the Friends of Norfolk Dialect panto The Wizard of Ouse. Picture: ALAN COOPER

The full cast of the Friends of Norfolk Dialect panto The Wizard of Ouse. Picture: ALAN COOPER - Credit: Archant


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Not only was he based in Beccles, but he was wearing an Ipswich shirt – obviously a huge sacrifice to his art by Norwich City-mad Norman who made quite sure we all knew in advance where his real loyalties lay.

In true Norfolk style, Fond's performance was down-to-earth, relaxed, and full a gentle hooma, lapped up by an appreciative capacity audience of well over 200.

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Scores of smiling folk disappeared into the night, their lugs alive with living Norfolk dialect and, if that was your aim Fond, then thass a masterous job yew're mearde o' that there panto.

A retiring collection was taken for the EDP's We Care Appeal.

Alex Hurrell

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