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February 23 2020, Cinderella Trophy Reviews

On a cold and wet Saturday evening I was most certainly shivering me timbers as I headed along the A303. It was at Wincanton where its players were performing Treasure island.

Having studied your unique programme I noticed there was a reward for the whereabouts of your director Jayne Bentley. Well I actually found her – in the foyer – so do I get to keep the two hundred pounds!

I have seen a number of Treasure Islands since working with the Somerset Fellowship of Drama but can honestly say I do not think I have ever watch one quite as quirky as this. A pantomime revolving around the Smugglers Cove Woman’s Institute, surely not? Oh yes there was. With plenty of jam and Battenburgs to savour we were at least spared from singing Jerusalem!

The script written by Ben Crocker contained all the necessary ingredients of a traditional pantomime, incorporating a neat balance of songs.

With such a large cast, Jayne and Cara certainly had their work cut out.

I enjoyed the antics of Mike Benson’s Mrs Hawkins. This was a fairly large part and you grew on me as the show progressed. You mastered this role exceptionally well and had your audience captivated. I had to smile on your first entrance. You were wearing your blue wig back to front. No wonder it kept tilting backwards. An energetic performance.

Jonathan Markendale’s Long John Silver was portrayed in a totally different style which captivated me. You were not aggressive, yet you were deliciously evil. We certainly had the Long John Silver fan club in on Saturday which made your character even more convincing and funnier. Well done.

Amanda Graffham’s Jim Hawkins and Georgina Isaacs’ Jenny Trelawney were perfectly paired. You both had charming characterisations and your diction was crystal clear. Your duet All I ask of you was absolutely astounding and the highlight of the pantomime. Many congratulations.

Congratulations to all of the juniors as well. This production could not have managed without you. You were each given your own character and I am certain that you had done everything the director had asked of you.

All sets were relatively simple in design although we were treated to two UV scenes. However, it was lighting and sound that made this production the show it was. I could hear every single word spoken by every cast member. A rarity these days. With so many children involved a little tidying up in terms of direction may have benefitted the overall appearance of the show.

Although the pantomime overran by a good twenty minutes (excluding presentations) it was evident that your full house audience were cherishing every moment.

Thank you for inviting me WADS. I was chuckling to myself all the way back to Taunton and I’ll remember to bring my umbrella next year!!

Nigel Ford