LHMTC Press Archive

Spring Pantomime - 'Dick Whittington's Greatest Adventure'



N.O.D.A. (East) Review
by Leslie Judd - Region 4N Representative

 

LAVENDER HILL MOB THEATRE COMPANY
DICK WHITTINGTON'S GREATEST ADVENTURE

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Les Miles

CHOREOGRAPHER/CO-PRODUCER
Jamie John

MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Tim Rock


Script by Les Miles & Jamie John
Lyrics by Les Miles
Music and Orchestration by Tim Rock
 

I thought that this was a Panto almost out of season, but then I asked myself is there really a season for Pantomime, as Panto is a time for both cast and audience to enjoy themselves. To laugh and listen to silly jokes for children and a bit of innuendo for adults so perhaps there really isnít a season for Panto anymore and this show proved that there isnít.

The Corn Exchange has a large stage and needs a good-sized cast to fill it and to keep the action moving along. Here the company were really helped by having a wide range of ages and talents who all played their roles to the best of their abilities.

The sets and scenery for this show were colourful and effective, the back cloths for both Fitzwarrenís Store and HMS Hopeful were very effective together with stage dressing. Scene changes were quick and efficient with no distraction from the pace of the show. All the costumes were effective and coluorful, suited each character and were well matched throughout the cast giving a unifying and colourful presence on stage. A word of congratulation to the wardrobe team for this. There was nothing too over the top with make-up which was very good, there no washed out faces and hair and wigs were well done.

Movement and choreography throughout the show was slick and well planned and a lot of thanks to Jamie John whose professionalism and talent showed what can be done with a varied ability cast. Entrances and movement on and off stage whether individually or as a group were slick, so often in Panto there appears to be a mad rush to get all the cast-off stage at once. Nothing was choreographed about the talents of those performing and this was evident in the joy in the faces of those performing.

Movement, costume, make-up and sets are nothing if the sound and lighting are second rate, this was not the case in this production, the lighting was imaginative and good, sound levels were very good. This was clearly demonstrated in the Company singing which was loud and clear and sung with feeling, there were some lovely soloís and duets from the Principals, unfortunately the songs were not listed separately in the programme so I couldnít name any individually.

A pantomime is nothing if there is no audience interaction, this show was no exception despite the fact that the audience was doted around the auditorium, everyone around me seemed to be enjoying themselves enormously, joining in where they were able to.

There were a lot of good performances from the principals, Andy and Tom as Captain Nelson and Half Nelson seemed to be most appropriately cast and enjoyed their roles. Emily as Fairy Bow Bells, Darcy as Charley Chav played their roles well. I particularly enjoyed Lana as Sixpence and Phoebe as Tuppence, two cats for the price of one played with enthusiasm, good characterisation and performances they obviously thoroughly enjoyed their roles, well done girls. Who doesnít like the Dame in Panto, and who doesnít want to play it? Mike Miles as Daisy Dumpling was good Ė loud and enthusiastic and as always had the best costumes. Callum and Alana as the Fitzwarrens were good in their roles and who knew that they had a sulky daughter Mary, well played (not sure whether I saw Alex or Eliana) as a stroppy, jealous sister.

Jordan as Dick Whittington and Gabby as Alice Fitzwarren played and sang their roles really well, movement, emotion, passion was all played out, nice voices and lovely songs, they deserved the roles that they had.

The show had the advantage of the superb talents of King Rat, the real baddie played to perfection by Jamie John, and how lucky you are to have his talent shining as a beacon for the entire cast to follow and try to emulate. That amazing voice and the costume were second to none. His choreography and encouragement shone throughout the show.

To the production team of Les Miles, Tim Rock and Jamie John congratulations on bringing a diverse team with so much latent talent to the stage in a great production of Dick Whittingtonís Greatest Adventure.

A final word to say thank you to the young lady so smartly dressed who signed throughout the performance.


Leslie Judd



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

 

LAVENDER HILL MOB THEATRE COMPANY
DICK WHITTINGTON'S GREATEST ADVENTURE

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Les Miles

CHOREOGRAPHER/CO-PRODUCER
Jamie John

MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Tim Rock


Script by Les Miles & Jamie John
Lyrics by Les Miles
Music and Orchestration by Tim Rock

 

Thank you very much for the invitation to see Lavender Hill Mob Theatre Company in their production of 'Dick Whittington's Greatest Adventure' in the Easter holidays at the Corn Exchange; and I was delighted to see what excellent support you received in that big venue.

What an excellent script giving the original story with some enhancements and extra characters so that more can participate in this production and show off their many talents. And that music backing with those beats really made the Company want to put even more energy into the singing and the toes tapping in the audience. The Team of Les Miles (artistic director), Tim Rock (musical director), and Jamie John (choreographer) really inspired those on stage in this large cast to give their all in what must be your most successful pantomime.

Some really good strong singing in this pantomime, good projection and note-holding, particularly impressed by Emily Butler (Fairy Bowbells) and Gabby Short (Alice) in their style. A strong character from Jordan Winn in the title role of Dick as he wrestled with the twists in the story. Loved the two kittens Sixpence (Lana Jones) and Tuppence (Phoebe Smith) with their energy and acting and participation in forwarding the story: it could be said that they stole the show. How clever to write in a sister Mary in the Fitzwarren family, another role to fill and also a rather spiteful person to take off any sweetness in the shop, with parts for Mr and Mrs Fitzwarren to expand the cast (so important that the youngsters have some named roles to aim for and to give confidence in standing on their own.  To the humour and laughter with professional Dame Dumpling from Mike Mills milking the audience and accompanied by Darcy Grant as Chav. Captain Nelson (Andy

Russell) and Half Nelson (Tom Bains) had their work cut out aboard ship, and supported by Splish/Splash/Splosh (Sophia Dawson, Ellie-Mae Smith, Conor

Jones) came through the storm accompanied by the large well-dressed and nimble-footed crew. And what can one say about your amazing Ambassador and choreographer (how slick was this movement) and also the wicked Queen Rat we loved to hate, Jamie John was an inspiration to all on stage.

However as always it is the mass of cast which is so inspiring in what they achieve, this is truly a team effort rather than individual stars, when I think of how the group improves and learns and gains so much confidence for its members as we watch each year and just know how much has gone into the production, then I am filled with admiration for all involved.

And on that note, once again can I feel total admiration for signer Vicky Reed who knows every word of every character in the story plus every word of the songs, all by heart without a script and signed from beginning to end, it must be exhausting concentration and she does a fantastic job. And good that the entire cast can BSL the finale number.

Should say that Scenic did you proud with their cloths, and a lot of work for your wardrobe team to make the whole production easy on the eye.

Thank you for asking me. Pleased that you have now met new Rep Leslie and I am sure that he was impressed with seeing and meeting you.

All the best with your next venture!

 

Susan DuPont


LAVENDER HILL MOB THEATRE COMPANY
DICK WHITTINGTON'S GREATEST ADVENTURE

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Les Miles

CHOREOGRAPHER/CO-PRODUCER
Jamie John

MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Tim Rock


Script by Les Miles & Jamie John
Lyrics by Les Miles
Music and Orchestration by Tim Rock

 

I always know Iím in for a fun, relaxing and entertaining time when I attend a Lavender Hill Mob Theatre Company production.

Their latest show staged Wednesday to Thursday of last week was, Iím glad to say, no exception and this was the perfect pre-Easter holiday entertainment, as far as Iím concerned!

Rehearsal for Lavender Hill Mob Theatre Company's Easter Family Panto, Dick Whittington. West End Star Jamie John (Queen Rat) (centre), with some of the cast at rehearsal (8932433)

Itís amazing to think that the company, whose worthy ethos of inclusion, gives people from all backgrounds, and with diverse talents, the opportunity to perform and develop and grow as individuals, and has now been in existence since 2001; it goes from strength to strength and is supported by many local organisations, patrons, parents, carers and volunteers.

This Easter panto re-tells the story of Dick, travelling to London, where the streets are paved with gold, to make his fortune and marry the girl he loves, Alice Fitzwarren. He survives all dangerous challenges and eventually allís well that ends well!

The sparkling show was created by artistic director/producer Les Miles and musical director Tim Rock. Popular Jamie John, co- produced and was the choreographer, but everyone working behind the scenes should be praised for their successful efforts.

Acting, singing and dancing were of a high standard and talented Jordan Winn was outstanding as Dick Whittington.

All the principal actors gave of their best, Lana Jones and Phoebe Smith were memorable as Sixpence and Tuppence and of course Gabby Short made a charming and loveable Alice.

Well done also to Mike Miles and Jamie John, of course, but all involved gave of their best.

Hereís looking forward to ĎJack and the Beanstalkí in November!

Andy Tyler (Source Material from 'Lynn News')