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January 3 2019, Cinderella Trophy Reviews

2019 certainly brought in the crowds at the Meyer Theatre, Street. It was a delight to receive a warm welcome by your front of house staff and thank you for our ‘festive drinks’ to toast in the New Year! It was also a great pleasure to catch up with Eric Lukins, his final year in the driving seat, after thirteen years.

With a principal cast of eleven and twenty children, Director Kayleigh Perry certainly had her work cut out and not one grey hair to show for it! How do you do it Kayleigh?

The show moved on steadily and the audience were with you most of the way. There were a number of hecklers in on your final performance which the cast controlled well. I am sure there must have been something added to that boy’s chocolate ice cream!

There were occasions however when this pantomime lacked a little pace and some of the story was lost either by the quality of sound or by vocal projection especially by some of your younger troupe.

Your adjudication report will mention each individual’s performance so rather than becoming too repetitive I would just like to mention a few.

John Turner’s Edna Bucket was a likeable character. You needed a bigger entrance though. Walking down through the auditorium is always a safe bet. You then immediately establish a rapport with your audience and they will be along-side you all the way. A good performance though.

Kirsty Costar’s Queen Avarice gave us a well and truly nasty creature working excellently alongside other principals. Sinister make-up would have been the cherry on the cake as you looked ‘too nice’ without any which was a great shame.

You certainly have some young up and coming performers who – with a little more experience – will certainly be stars of future pantomime productions.

Sophie McEvoy’s Scribbles was a good part to play and at just fourteen had a lot of lines to learn. I can understand why you are looking forward to next year’s production Sophie. Another main part to get your teeth into perhaps? Try to slow down your dialogue a little and look out to the audience with your delivery. Well done.

Dillon Lang’s Chuckles was a major role to take on, and at the age of just fifteen worked extremely hard on his character. As the title suggests the Linkman needs to ‘link’ the entire production together but on occasions this did not always happen. With experience, correct training in vocal projection and comic timing I am certain you will become a master of all Linkmen! You were very energetic and your audience warmed to you.

Sets were excellent and added visual appeal to the pantomime with the Dwarfs Cottage being most memorable. Excellent.

The Magic Mirror was outstanding. This was certainly one of the best mirror illusions that I have ever seen. The talents of William Wych’s Merlin added visual and mystical appeal to the Queen’s Dressing Room. A great piece of theatre nicely played out.

There were some lovely musical numbers and all mentioned in your comprehensive programme. Thank you. Congratulations also to Musical Director Joel Lloyd-Carter and band. In particular to drummer Ben Cooper who, at eleven years old, stood in at short notice. Brilliant work Ben. You certainly deserved a drum roll for your achievements!

Praise must also be given to Valerie Lukins and her team for some incredible society made costumes. The walk-down looked very refreshing indeed although I felt a more imaginative costume was required for Queen Avarice’s final bow.

It was a delight to see so many younger ones keen to be involved with the magic of pantomime. This clearly proves that the future looks bright for Moorlight Theatre Productions.

I wish Eric and Valerie well on their ‘semi- retirement’ and look forward to watching Cinderella next year.

Thank you to the ‘Moorlight Family’ for an enjoyable New Year’s Day.

Nigel Ford

Moderator SFD