Association of Community Theatre

Show Reviews 2017


Antrobus Players


Director: Janet Featonby

Musical Director: Janet Featonby

Choreographer - (Chorus): Debbie Sutton

Choreographer - (Dancers)   Freya Sutton


The story of Mother Goose is possibly the oldest story to be turned into a pantomime. It dates back to an ancient Greek legend about a goose that laid golden eggs.  The story tells of how Mother Goose is about to be thrown off her land because she cannot pay the Squire and his Bailiffs the rent. Cue Priscilla, the goose, to the rescue laying golden eggs making Mother Goose rich.  You would think that Mother Goose would be content but she is still unhappy as there is one thing she doesn’t have - youth and beauty. Mother Goose is persuaded to hand over Priscilla in exchange for a visit to the Pool of Beauty.  The result of which is that none of her friends like her now - they want the old Mother Goose back. Too late she realises that beauty is NOT everything, and that she must get Priscilla back.


After a lot of trouble Priscilla is rescued from Gooseland, and all ends happily ever after.


Chris Tatalos gave an engaging performance in the title role.  He worked well with cast and audience members alike. He was a traditional pantomime Dame. well done.  Mother Goose was supported by the other Goose family members, Billy and Tilly.  Helen Newby gave a fantastic performance as Billy Goose, the silly son.  From the moment the character stepped onto the stage the effort put into the role was excellent, from the facial expressions to the crashing of the pan lids; thoroughly entertaining.  Opposite Billy was Anya (Jane Meakin), a visitor from Holland who repeatedly got words back to front.  The two characters worked well together and created a good rapport with the audience.  Tilly Goose, Mother Goose's daughter was well played by Eve Shaw.  Eve was partnered by Emily Clewes' as Peter. Emily worked hard in her role but I am not too sure about the principal boy costume choices.


As with any traditional pantomime, there is a good Fairy and Baddie, and this panto was no exception.  Emily Barrow worked hard as the Fairy, trying to ensure Mother Goose was kept on the straight and narrow.  Nerves often come into play in performing so that, at times, some of her dialogue tended to get lost as a result of speaking too quickly.  Emily's nemesis, the Demon, was ably played by Mary Cumming who worked hard to cause mischief throughout the show. This evil persona needs to be maintained throughout including exiting the stage.


Mother Goose wouldn't be Mother Goose without Priscilla and Shane Cross was excellent in this role and ensured Priscilla was always at the front of the action.  Whether it be his perfectly timed honks or ballet dancing in Gooseland, the role was portrayed perfectly - well done.


It is lovely to see cast members of all ages taking to the stage at the same time and gelling as a team.  They sang and danced the night away, even if, at times, the movement was a little static.  The show was jam-packed with songs, a little too many if I am really honest as they stopped the flow of the story. Nevertheless, they had the audience singing along and tapping their toes. Although the script was not very strong and the scenes tended not to flow from one part of the story to another. This made it a little difficult for the audience to follow the story.  Despite this, the whole cast worked hard and ensured the audience was entertained.


A real highlight of the show was when Billy and Anya were in the Well of Beauty where they were hauled up and then left to fall back down.  Perfect comedy timing from Helen Newby and Jane Meakin and a very funny scene which brought the house down.


The set was excellent, designed by Kathryn Cleverly, and really added another dimension to the production, despite the limited space.


Overall a good evening's entertainment, filled with community spirit and well received by the capacity audience.