Spring Pantomime 2013 - 'Cinderella....Happy Every After?'
N.O.D.A. (East) Review
by Stephen Hayter - Region E4N Representative
THE LAVENDER HILL MOB
'Cinderella...Happy Every After?'
The Corn Exchange King’s Lynn
Sunday May 12th 2013 (Matinee)
Inevitably as May heads towards June, my mind turns to Pantomime.....or at least it does as far as the Lavender Hill Mob Theatre Company are concerned. The 2013 offering from this unique and wonderfully inclusive group was entitled 'Cinderella, Happy Ever After' and as I took my seat for the Sunday Matinee, the auditorium was satisfactorily full.
For those of you not familiar with this society, the company includes a large number of performers who have a lot more in their daily lives to worry about than just words and steps and it is always an emotional experience to see them perform. That said, I am here to report on their collective abilities, not the disabilities and there was much to applaud in this year's original production.
The chorus were enthusiastic as ever and as usual, there were plenty of them. The songs (All original courtesy of Tim Rock and Les Miles) were belted out into the cavernous auditorium of the Corn Exchange with some flair, using Microphones for only the singing leads and only then for the songs.
Of the main cast there were solid performances from Charlotte Fensom as Humpty Dumpty, Dana Hohol and Alana Gemmell as Jack and Jill, Pam Smith as the Queen and David Howard as the Baron, Father of Cinderella. Ford Baily turned in another of his excellent trademark cameos as the King with his golf ball routine making me laugh out loud.
I also enjoyed Brendan Colhoun as the Footman and Megan Wilson-Clarke as Morticia and it's always a pleasure to watch Lucy Jenkins and Poppy Gilding this time as comic leads Spick and Span although they had a little less to do this year than last. This may have had something to do with the excellent James Hohol as Prime Minister Sidney who took over as the main comedy, doing a fine job from start to finish.
Readers of this representative's output will be aware that I have previously been critical of the line learning abilities of the gentlemen of the cast who, in the past have spoiled excellent characterisations with poor delivery. Not so this year! The boys were on top form as the three Wee sisters and I congratulate Kurt Fuller, Mike Miles and Rocca Jenkins for upping their game.
One person who never sells me short is Shaz Yates this year doing the wicked Stepmother bit and her portrayal of Wendy Elizabeth Wee (We Wee....what do you mean you didn't see that coming?) was extremely professional. Zoe Adams seems to have a hypnotic effect on both the cast and the audience and as incompetent Fairy (And School Teacher) Miss Take she turned in another solid piece of work, leading nearly the full cast on several occasions. In a production that was very much a team game and the cast that seemed to work well together, I save my last comments for Abbie Read as the Prince and Sophie Bush as our heroine, Cinderella. Both acted and sang their socks off and did both to a high standard.
Another moving production from the talent colossi that are Miles and Rock and my hat is once again off to Les and Tim for bringing it all together and keeping it together throughout.
Stephen P E Hayter