Director & Scriptwriter
Mary Parker & Judy Neale
Dancers (all shows)
Olivia Cave & Lydia Lakin
Under 17's (5 shows each)
See table below.
|TEAM A||TEAM B|
|Erin Hagg||Mia Hann|
|Holly Marsh||Maya Bickham|
|Olly Shakesby||Oliver Berry|
|Dougal Bradwell||Edmund Boulton-Roberts|
|Molly Cook||Evelyn Allen|
|Francesca Guidi||Lara Cook|
|Sapphira Stoodley||Evie Withers|
|Elsie-May Govier||Annie Robertson|
|Harriet Norris||Lola Edwards|
|Daisy Payne||Megan Boyd|
|Poppy Marsh||Emily Power|
|Fenella Milner||Holly Cuff|
|Isabel Waller||Erin Webster|
|Charlotte Eastmead Hoare||Mary Boulton Roberts|
Thursday 27 Dec – 2 performances 1pm and 5.30pm
Friday 28 Dec – 2 performances 2.30pm and 7.00pm
Saturday 29 Dec – 2 performances 2.30pm and 7.00pm
Sunday 30 Dec – 2 performances 1pm and 5.30pm
Monday 31 Dec – 1 performance 1pm
Tuesday 1 Jan – 1 performance 1pm
To appear here as and when received by G&SMCS.
Cinderella Trophy Review
On my arrival at the Strode Theatre in Street anyone would have thought it was Black Friday at John Lewis! There were queues upon queues and excitement everywhere. This was to be a unique show and, as its title suggests, Goldilocks and the Three Amazing Bears seldom makes an appearance on the stages of Somerset.
I was welcomed by all your friendly front of house staff and many thanks for the complimentary drinks too! It was also good to meet up with director Matthew Maisey, although his concerns were a little greater than mine! He informed me that he had decided to edit some of the script at the eleventh hour as the pantomime had been over-running. I believe two scenes were deleted. This was a brave and considerate decision to make, and an hour before curtain up! (As a guide to all societies an hour and a quarter is ideal for the first act and, with a twenty minute interval, an additional fifty minutes for act two. Hopefully within this time you should have the story completed!)
The easy-to-follow script, also written by Matthew, contained all the necessary pantomime ingredients that we come to expect including joke after joke after joke. Some were very funny, others very subtle and some that made you cringe. Exactly what pantomime is about!
The cast consisted of ten principals and what a fine troupe they were. Acting was to a very good standard, diction was crystal clear by all and movements indicated total confidence by the whole cast.
Daisy Gray’s Goldilocks was played with distinction. You had outstanding stage presence Daisy with excellent vocal attack and tremendous enthusiasm. Working well alongside talented Elisha Webster’s Gilbert the romance kindled was believable.
This society is extremely fortunate not to have one but four energetic comedy performers. Christian Lockyer’s Lenny commanded our attention at all times, having a natural flair. Everyone warmed to you the moment you came on stage.
Matty Wilson’s many disguises included a Fortune Teller, Porridge Seller, Sign Holder, Fairy and Lion. You certainly had your work cut out Matty, but each character you made your own with some great one-liners and facial expressions.
There was never a dull moment when the fine and energetic duo Splat (Tris Hann) and Tumble (Matthew Maisey) were treading the boards. You both showed real commitment to your roles and had tremendous rapport with your audience. I thought the house number was handled extremely well and what a great idea to incorporate some appropriate props as well. A great little routine was this.
Matt Turner’s Whipcracker gave us a nasty yet likeable character. At times you needed to be more aggressive. A good performance though.
And what can I say about the ‘Trio of Teds’? Well, you were simply all amazing. The casting was ‘spot-on’ and what a great little team you were. Glynn Webster’s Mummy Bear was an outstanding performance. I am uncertain if you have played a traditional Dame before but if you haven’t then you need to. You had a great voice and your antics were a delight. Working well alongside Dave Bonser’s Daddy Bear we were treated to a duet as well. Excellent pairing. Bethany Baker’s Baby Bear gave us a loveable character who was energetic, responsive and whose antics always amused us all.
The team of dancers and junior chorus worked hard and it was undoubtedly clear that you had done everything the Director and Choreographer had asked of you. Most of you were smiling as well!
Congratulations to Musical Director Shaun Rigby and the band. There were some great numbers in this show. Although one or two were dated, they were a joy to listen to again. ‘Yes Sir, I can boogie’ and ‘Living on my own’ were most memorable. Sets were hired from Scenery Hire Ltd with the Bear’s Cottage looking tremendous under the lighting. Costumes were hired from Triple C’s and added colour to the production.
I appreciate there may have been a few technical issues at the start of your run but you finished ‘bang on’ time so it was most certainly the right decision to cut back.
This was a good all round production that was primarily aimed at children but which the adults also loved.
Thank you Glastonbury and Street for inviting me. I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon with you.
Somerset Fellowship of Drama Cinderella Trophy Competition
Friday Matinee 27th December 2018
I was looking forward to my first adjudication of the season and after the over indulgence of the past few days and a rest from my own panto rehearsals, a Friday afternoon at the theatre seemed just the thing to round off my Christmas. My wife and I were warmly greeted by Mary Parker the producer and having collected our tickets and a programme at the box office we were ready for an entertaining afternoon. Looking around me in the foyer and bar area it was clear that the audience were there to enjoy themselves too, little girls in special outfits, I noticed Anna from frozen, and an array of various headdresses including one lady sporting a turkey on her head.
Taking our seats in the balcony it was nice to hear music in the back ground which is something other societies should take note of.
This was an original script by Matthew Maisey and a new pantomime for me. Full of comedy, music and all the essential ingredients for a family pantomime this promised to be an entertaining show.
This was a good interpretation of the script. Full use was made of the stage and varied entrances from the wings as well as some entrances through the auditorium.
After a short prologue with a very strange fortune teller he introduced the baddy to us and prompted the booing of this character, the Ring Master. The opening number, ‘Blame it on the Boogie’, was bright and lively and introduced us to a competent set of dancers and a young chorus.
I wasn’t aware of any prompts although there were a few hesitant pauses at times. This being only the third performance I feel certain that these little issues would have been ironed out as the performances continued. Apart from this the cue bite was sound and lines delivered in a clear and confident manner. The dancers and junior chorus moved well together with principals giving this a well-rehearsed performance.
Casting a show like this can be difficult. How do you make a bear into a dame for a start! All characters seemed well cast and being a musical society were in fine vocal tune.
Lighting was imaginative although occasionally a little dark. I struggled to see the detail on some of the faces especially mummy bear in her longer wig. On the other hand the UV scene didn’t seem quite dark enough. This was just an observation and not a criticism.
Sound effects worked well and on time. The music also added appeal to the various chase scenes.
The house song performed by the comedy double of Splat and Tumble, with the help of some lucky golden ticket holders, could have been brisker as the show was now well over the usual two and a half hours. I have always loved to witness the hurling of sweets into the audience but was under the impression that these days with health and safety rules societies are no longer permitted to do this. It may well be worth checking out.
Directing any pantomime is a difficult task. When you have written it and are also performing in the show, it becomes even more so. Well done Matthew.
I understand the sets were mostly hired and were in keeping with the circus theme. The bear’s cottage was charming and front of tabs scenes worked well. Scene changes were quiet and handled with efficiency.
The choice of music is an important addition to any pantomime and I am sure the choices here were difficult as this was an original script. However, you succeeded to choose a selection of suitable songs and managed to incorporate the Baby Shark song, the current children’s favourite. Well done Shaun.
The choreography was kept simple and suited the junior chorus with the dancers taking a more experienced line of choreography. All moved very well and were well rehearsed. Congratulations Lucy.
Costumes & Makeup
Costumes, although hired, in the main were colourful and fitted well. I liked the rainbow themed finale giving a real circus feel. I was glad to see a couple of costume changes for the Dame/Mummy Bear as it is traditional for her to be in a different costume with each entrance. Make up was well applied and the Bears in particular was imaginative although as stated before, I wasn’t always able to see Mummy bears face because of the long wig. If she was wearing lashes I wasn’t able to see them and would have liked a little more of a feminine appearance to her.
Although there was not a tremendous amount of romance going on between the leads of Goldilocks and Gilbert their one duet was very well performed. The romance seemed to be more between the Mummy and Daddy Bear.
The Ring master was our villain here and was getting all the boo’s right from the start. However, I did feel this character could have reacted a little more, establishing a greater rapport with his audience.
Comedy is one of the main basics of Pantomime and this show was certainly not lacking in the quick fire jokes. Maybe a little too much ‘loo’ humour for me and not keen on the spitting but that’s just a personal observation. There was a plethora of comics in this panto Lenny Scoop, Splat and Tumble, Mummy Bear and the strange character Lief Overs. The slapstick scene when making porridge looked a little under-rehearsed and there seemed to be alot of ad-libbing going on. I know from experience that these scenes are always difficult to master in the confines of a rehearsal room but can be excellent if slick and well-rehearsed.
Goldilocks (Daisy Gray) This was a delightful performance with the right amount of feistiness mixed with her compassion to try and change her uncle’s view on animal performing. You had a very nice singing voice which complimented Gilbert’s voice too in the duet ’Suddenly’. Well done Daisy.
Gilbert (Elisha Webster) A good characterisation and you looked the part. Partnered well with Daisy you also have a delightful singing voice as shown in the duet ‘Suddenly’ and very clear diction. A good performance Elisha.
Whipcrack (Matt Turner) You really looked the part of the Villain in your ringmaster’s costume. A really good characterisation with a nice deep voice and strong singing voice also. I did feel you might have had more rapport with the audience as they were keen to boo you from the start. Very well done Matt.
Lenny Scoop (Christian Lockyer) You were full of energy and a very likeable link man. Very clear diction and a good singing voice too. You certainly kept within character throughout. Although it’s good to be able to ad-lib in difficult situations when things go wrong, just be careful not to overdo it. A competent performance though. Well done Christian.
Lief Overs (Matty Wilson) You were a master of disguise and accents for the multiple roles required and a good comic with sound timing. Another good singing voice and clear diction delivered in a confident manner. An enjoyable performance Matty.
Baby Bear (Bethany Baker) An energetic performance full of enthusiasm for the dance as shown in Baby’s Dream scene with the company. A competent performance. Many congratulations Bethany.
Daddy Bear (Dave Bonser) A competent performance from confident performer. Your duet with mummy bear was very enjoyable and you kept up your characterisation throughout. Nicely played Dave.
Mummy Bear (Glynn Webster) This was a character I was looking forward to seeing, combining an animal with the iconic character of Dame. Were you going to be a bloke in a skin or a bear in a frock! You managed to combine both and it was evident that the kids adored you especially when you were getting them to roar. Although the make-up was very bear-like, as mentioned before, a little more feminine look would have been my preference. A very good performance indeed Glynn.
Splat & Tumble (Tris Hann & Matthew Maisey) These two worked well together and had good comedy timing. At times their corny jokes seemed to go on a bit too long and felt like they were trying to outdo Tim Vine as to how many jokes they could get into a panto! But saying that the children loved the ones they understood. Both were very energetic and remained so to the end. Well done Tris and Matthew.
Dancers A very talented dance troupe which complimented the company performance. I did feel for the poor girl who got pied but hope you get your revenge on Lenny!
Chorus I believe it was team B that were performing on Friday afternoon. This team were well rehearsed and provided good singing in the company numbers and all moved well. I’m sure Team A are equally as well rehearsed. A good all round performance.
I am certain that the audience left having had a very enjoyable afternoon even if it did run a little longer than it should have. It was a surprise to see you all lined up in costume as we left. Personally I prefer to keep the magic on stage but appreciate that this may be an ongoing tradition that you do. Thank you for inviting us and I hope the rest of your run is successful for you.
Adjudicator – Somerset Fellowship of Drama
Rose Bowl Adjudication
Thursday 27th December 2018
A good team effort
Pantomimes are all about gathering local talent together and entertaining the local community – and an all age one usually. Your director and writer did a good job of garnering all of that talent and weaving them into a story, albeit a little contrived. With such a range of ages it is always difficult to strike the balance between humour (most often directed at the adults in the audience) and action (that appeals to the little ones). There were moments when this worked really well and othes where I felt that the one-liners were coming too rapidly and muddying the waters of the storyline. Consequently there were some little people who got distracted.
Of course, it doesn’t help if the writer is also directing and perfoming. For me, it loses the objectivity that an independent director can bring. When the scenes got a little too protracted, I felt that a non-performing director might have cut them down (or even out) and this would have helped the overall shape of the production. There were a few times when I lost the links that connected some of the scenes to the main storyline and this might also have been ironed out with someone who was looking at the show from an audience perspective. That said, there were some humourous moments and engaging ensemble numbers that lifted the show and punctuated with some real energy.
You had a nice set that I see you had hired. The woodland scenes and the bears’ cottage worked particularly well. Perhaps you might have made a clearer distinction in the circus tent scenes with some contrasting lighting. Your opening scene was rather confused (unless you had written it, of course) and I wasn’t aware of who the characters were until much later in the show. Indeed, I’m not entirely convinced that the fortune-teller aspect of the story was necessary. Once we got the first ensemble number, things picked up and we were entertained with good costumes and some confident singing.
There were a few moments when the changing scenes collided; for example I didn’t really understand why Gilbert and the ensemble with their combat clothes appeared in the cottage scene when Goldilocks was asleep. Eventually I understood that Gilbert was staying with the bears, but I guess many in the audience missed that. Perhaps you could have used the flats to better effect in those moments.
At the start of Act 2, I was surprised to see the beach scene and wondered whether it was really necessary, when the rest of the story was in the woods. However, it was an opportunity for your younger dancers to perform. In the Second Act, the Elvis Presley tribute worked well, despite its disconnection to the plot and the children coming on stage with their golden tickets was a nice touch. I am not convinced the ‘reversing’ necklace was worth it for all the effort required in setting it up at the beginning, but the Finale was well constructed and happily meant that the second half was not quite as long as the first half (Nearly two hours for the first act seemed too long and many children were getting restless).
Costumes were lovely and there were some great changes of scene where a new entrance of the ensemble created a real wow factor. The black and white scene at the end of Act 1 was really good, as was the ghost train scene costumes (although I’m not sure whether that scene was necessary). I know how much hard work goes into this aspect of a show so well done to the team responsible for costumes.
The woodland scenes were nicely lit and worked well when the stage was full of performers. I would have liked a stronger contrast in the cottage and also in the circus tent, when warmer colours would have provided a more dramatic effect. Indeed, for pantomime, excessive use of colour is perfectly permitted and allows a lighting designer to experiment with effects that are not likely to be used in other shows during the year. I felt that you could have done more in this regard.
The band was well balanced and I liked the position in the pit. On the whole the vocals were heard above the band, but from time to the time the sound was consumed by the instrumentalists and performers were not heard. I think that this was partly because this was your first performance and I am sure that you addressed this as the show ran during the week. Of course, it is difficult with inexperienced performers to know how well their voices will project and no amount of sound support will compensate for a badly projected voice. Sound operation was good for a first show and I’m sure it got tighter as the run progressed.
Well done for getting your young performers dancing in sync and confidently moving across the stage. There were a few times when the little ones were rather hidden behind taller dancers and this was a shame. And I think that your ensemble would have coped with some more challenging choreography and this would have given your audience a chance to see their talents more fully.
I think your nerves got the better of you in the first half and we were straining to hear your tiny voice, over and above all the action on stage. However, this did settle down as the show developed. I was also longing for someone to have set your songs in a higher key; they were far too low for your voice and this compromised your ability to project your vocals. That said, you looked the part and I liked your innocent portrayal of the role. Your scene with the porridge and the beds in the Bears’ cottage was your best.
You had confident strides across the stage and we believed in your character from the outset. I liked the slow delivery of your spoken words and this was perfect for the pantomime genre. You have a lovely voice and it was well projected so we could hear every word. Again, I would have lifted the key of your song (‘Suddenly’ in particular was very low for your register). Just be careful you are not singing upstage. In a small perfoming space like this, it really makes a difference when you lift your head and sing right out to the back of the theatre.
You made a strong, energetic entrance and I liked the bright intonation in your voice. You had the classic fool’s role in this show and that was made good and clear from the outset. Well done for attempting to involve the audience. I’m mot sure the entire house was comfortable with your ‘poo-themed’ shout-out, but on the whole this worked for each of your entrances. You had a good command of the stage and you made the role physical which was perfect for this genre. Your diction was sharp and well-rounded.
Perhaps an aspect of your role might have been a stronger relationship with Golidlocks; we missed that opportunity for a romantic, unrequited love element to the show and this w ould have given you the opportunity to engage with your audience and gain sympathy. You had some rather confused scenes (the one with the gorilla comes to mind) where I felt you looked awkward but this might have been more about direction than your performance. At these times, I felt that you had lost your important connection with the younger members of your audience. You had a much more successful second act, when you started to really enjoy your time on stage and this was infectious.
You had just the right stance for the evil villain and I think you might have been helped with more menacing lighting for your entries. I liked your deep voice and arrogant swagger. Occasionally we lost the impact of your character in the story, particularly when you were standing still on stage (the Old MacDonald Farm scene is a case in point) watching the comedic antics of Splat and Tumble. I would have had you off stage then. The knife throwing scene worked well and was suitably menacing. You have a good singing voice, but I wasn’t convinced that Queen number was necessary at the end of Act 1.
Fortune Teller (and other characters)
I think you had a tricky time of it in this show. You had a number of roles to play and if I’m honest I’m not sure all of them were really necessary. Well done for rising to the challenge of all these characters; they got better as the show developed and we realised that you were one and the same character. For me, the fairy and the lion worked best. Your voice was warm and deep and this worked well for you, especially when so much else was going on on stage. And your strong facial expressions were entertaining.
The panto started for me when you made your first entrance and I thoroughly enjoyed your performance throughout. This was a perfect role for you and you were clearly comfortable in it. I liked the pace of your delivery, your facial expressions towards the audience that made us feel entirely involved in your storyline. The duet with daddy bear was really strong and your relationship with him was both funny and endearing. And I loved your costume changes!
I liked your casual and considered lumbering movements across stage (very bear-like) and your confident repartee with Mummy Bear. Your duet with Mummy Bear in Act 2 Scene 2 was a highlight of the show. Clever lyrics helped you both, but this was a well delivered number and everyone enjoyed it. You were having fun with the rest of the Bear Family and this was a positive element of the show.
I enjoyed your juvenile bouncing acround the stage and I heard every word even when you were moving around so well done for that. You voice had good light and shade and you connected directly with the audience on enough occasions that they felt an empathy with you. You also engaged with every scene, even if you were not at the centre of the action.
Splat and Tumble
You were both clearly enjoying yourselves on stage and were confident performers. I had an issue with the speed with which your one-liners were coming in the script, albeit they were cleverly written. It’s fine when you are familiar with the script, but not so easy when you are hearing them for the first time. They were coming thick and fast and, for the most part, were being missed by your audience. The effect of that is you leave your audience behind and they are just watching you two having a great time, rather than feeling involved in the humour.
Your farm scene was a funny moment in the show and I really felt that your audience were fully engaged with your antics. I’m not sure what Whipcrack was doing on stage at that point, but this was a well directed scene and the best one of the show to that point. The Porridge Scene with the long arms went on too long and I sensed that the audience were getting restless. You might well have sharpened that up as the week progressed.
Again, in the scene with the bicycles, there was a moment when your audience became restless and I wondered whether this was becoming a little self indulgent. I do recognise the challenge of pleasing all of the people all of the time, but it’s also important to keep the little ones with you because restless children mean stressed parents and so the tension in the auditorium mounts.
Action – packed show with all the elements
All in all this was a show that had moments of good entertainment and I could see all the work that had gone into putting it together. Lots of young performers had the opportunity to join in with the action on stage, dress up in some lovely costumes and enjoy the musical numbers, supported by a very capable band. If anything, it was a little too long, but it’s pantomime so anything goes!
Thank you for your hospitality and I wish you every success in your future productions.