LHMTC Press Archive

Christmas Variety Show - 'Saving Christmas'

N.O.D.A. (East) Review
by Susan DuPont - Region 5 Representative



Les Miles

Tim Rock

Zoe Adams


Thank you very much for the invitation to Lavender Hill Mob Theatre Company and their pre-Christmas production of ‘Saving Santa’, which certainly put all in the audience in the mood for the festive season.

When I look at the programme notes on how much the group has achieved and how much more is happening and looking to the future, I am filled with admiration for all who work so hard for the Ethos of ‘Respect, Encouragement, and Commitment’, and feel it is an honour to be invited to see the results of your labour in a creative and achieving production.

This year the production team of Les Miles, Tim Rock, John Wrigley and Zoe Adams decided on a slight change of format for the pre-Christmas offering to give more opportunity and encouragement to certain selected from the cast as well as retaining the popular and successful ‘all cast’ sequences. So a change of theme to Variety.

The two comperes John Wrigley and Zoe Adams worked so hard in their way through a Christmas alphabet with repartee and jokes and introductions to all the others participating, a smooth act accompanied by their many assistants in their slots.

After an imaginative dance routine Skyscraper, we enjoyed the humour of the three sketches with the good delivery of the dialogue and well pointed timing for the laughs, they worked well but could have split with a song to give more contrasting balance with emphasis and difference to the acting abilities. A colourful sight on stage with set and those many costumes: the red and green so perfect for the ‘Santa factory shop’ and loved those ‘tree’ T-shirts in the second half. This big sequence gave so many opportunities for all ages and abilities with a story and characters plus song and movement all to save Santa from too much modernisation and extermination, great theme. And how this company exploited all talent with a ‘huge voice’ in all the singing and the obvious enjoyment and happiness on stage, so confidence-building and giving a chance to all participants to have their ‘star moment’. Must mention Vicky Reed for her amazing concentration in all that BSL throughout this first half and then participation after the interval.  And what a moment for Kerry Bensley to sign for that heart-stopping ‘Night before Christmas’, amazing atmosphere. We all enjoyed our participation with the cast throughout ’12 Days of Christmas’, what fun for all.#

And then the real reason for my journey from Norwich: the Medley of 40 Years of Christmas Songs (and how many there were and not necessarily the ones expected), I could have enjoyed this for the entire evening but do realise that learning any more would create problems!  What huge enjoyment, singing and movement enormous in volume and style, clever that with the flow of songs we enjoyed a continuous change of personnel in the patterns so that at some point each cast member was front and centre of stage, the energy was dynamic and the enthusiasm told us why the team worked so hard to create this special Christmas entertainment, congratulations to all and I loved it.

Susan DuPont

Lynn News - 24/11/17