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January 26 2020, Cinderella Trophy Comment

On a chilly Sunday afternoon I ventured to the Princess Theatre, Burnham-on-Sea where its pantomime society was presenting Jack and the Beanstalk.

It means so much to receive a warm welcome from societies. No one could have been friendlier and courteous to me than your front of house member Pam Date. Thank you for your hospitality Pam.

Having read the script I was excited about watching this production as this had had been written by its members – a first for me. I was certainly not to be disappointed as this pantomime contained all the fun and frolics that you would expect from a professional writer.

Directed, once again, by Lorna Blair the pantomime moved along at a good pace although a tad hurried at times and I believe all principals and chorus had done everything asked of them. Full use was made of all available space including the rear of the theatre. Smiling is crucial because it cheers up the audience so readily so it was a joy to see all your smiles light up the stage on your lively opening number.

It was pleasing to see some new members in your society along with familiar faces from previous productions. I have watched Natalie Gowan on a few stages around Somerset but her role as Jack was the best by far. You have commanding stage presence Natalie and always summoned our attention. Your costume did you justice and we all noticed the thigh slap! With a beautiful singing voice this was an excellent all round performance.

I enjoyed the antics of Rob Manlow’s Freda Dandruff but your delivery was at one hundred miles an hour! You needed to slow down a tad giving the audience time to react. I believe a few side facial expressions to us would have enhanced your character. Nonetheless you were energetic and worked hard on your character.

Tom Alan’s Simon and Katie Shephard Daffy were perfectly suited. You both had confidence in your roles and I loved the welsh accent Katie although I did notice you came over the border to England for the house number!

Alastair Murray’s Squire was a top notch performance. Here is an experienced actor who certainly knows the business. You played your part with distinction, Alastair, and are to be congratulated on a commanding performance.

All costumes were of an extremely high standard and worn well. What talented seamstresses you have!

Sets were made and painted by the society and added appeal to each scene. The Giant’s appearance was very apt and cleverly thought through. All props both in the theatre and on stage were made to an exceptional standard and how I loved that beanstalk. Wow, what a whopper!

Thank you for inviting me Burnham. I had a most enjoyable afternoon with you.

Nigel Ford