Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Swaffham
RICHARD PARR All the colour, excitement and razzmatazz of the Big Top is brought to life in this refreshingly different version of the famous fairytale by the Swaffham Players.
All the colour, excitement and razzmatazz of the Big Top is brought to life in this refreshingly different version of the famous fairytale by the Swaffham Players.
Setting the pantomime within a circus gives plenty of scope for some fast-moving action and producer Brian Hubbard and choreographer Olga Barry exploited this to the full on Monday's opening night at Hamonds High School.
Tom Clarke is well cast as Karl, the nasty ringmaster, while vivacious Sarah Krill is the delightful Goldilocks.
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The dame of the panto is Gerty, owner of the circus. Once again, Nigel Wilkin revels in the part with his over-the-top outfits and wigs.
From his first appearance, Nigel establishes a rapport with the audience, who love his laugh-a-minute banter.
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This panto has all the ingredients audiences expect – colourful costumes, audience participation and three lovable, cuddly bears who are forced by the cunning Karl to perform in his circus which has hit on bad times.
Throughout all this plotting and intrigue, the action switches to various locations – from the circus ring, a Scottish castle and even a magical ice cave.
Ian Futers makes a welcome return as musical director and keyboard player and is joined by John Crittenden on drums. They provide some lively accompaniment for chorus and soloists in such songs as The Star Will Remember and If Ever I Would Leave You.
The principals are well supported by a number of other cast members including Lolita, played by Barbara Wade, Charlie Maysh's Poko the clown and Maureen Silver and Sue Baxter as the comic duo, Milly and Tilly.
Stage manager Bridget Dumbrell and her team deserve special mention for the effective sets, as does Maureen Silver and her helpers for the colourful costumes.
The panto continues until Saturday January 3 at 7.30pm nightly.