RICHARD PARR Granary Theatre, Wells


> Granary Theatre, Wells

They were having a whale of a time in Wells with this late panto offering from the pen of town mayor Joyce Trett.

At the third and final performance on Friday, in the intimate theatre, it was like eavesdropping on rehearsals. It proved to be an hilarious experience and no one seemed to mind that everything wasn't alright on the night!.

Far from it, as the small cast regularly needed prompting from producer Joyce sitting in the front row.

Each time the cast were lost for words a quick glance over to our Joyce and they were almost back on track.

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Their obviously under-rehearsed panto, with its liberal sprinkling of saucy asides, was a real hoot and the three, yes three, ugly sisters (Colin Harris, Steve Kingham and Shean Newman), kept the audience in stitches.

Their dual roles as scene shifters was very funny, particularly when they took a whole set away too early (well, I did say it was under-rehearsed).

There were many mirth-making cameo spots in this delightful skit – not least the hilarious appearance of Phillip Nightingale as Bruce Forsyth, putting the ugly sisters through their paces in a cross between Strictly Ballroom Dancing and the Generation Game.

Wells town clerk Sharon Kingham came from behind her desk to don thigh-high boots and frock coat to become a very posh Dandini, and Doreen Woods was a laugh a minute as FGM (Fairy God Mother).

James Platten was a suitably fresh-faced and spirited Buttons as he contributed dialogue and song not in the script, playing opposite Wells town councillor Tonya Sizeland in the title role.

There wasn't much to the set but the home-made cardboard carriage carrying Cinders was worthy of a Blue Peter gold star.

Everyone involved in this alternative comic production deserves congratulations – it was a real winter tonic.

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