PANTO SINGERS HIT THE RIGHT NOTE
REVIEW (Northumberland Gazette)
Little Red Riding Hood, Warkworth Drama Group,
Warkworth Memorial Hall, Thursday, December 14
PANTO season is upon us once again and Warkworth Drama Group presented Little Red Riding Hood as its Christmas treat. A strong opening set the mood for the evening’s entertainment with impressive singing from all cast members. Scenery was bright and cheery with a colourful street of houses and Warkworth Castle for the main backdrop in ‘Panto land’. Vibrant costumes were used, particularly those for Dame Robyn Hood and the Good Fairy, where a good deal of sparkle was added to the mix.
Convincing performances were portrayed by Bev Palin as little Red Riding Hood and Antonia Giacomini and Paige Keir as Jack and Jill. A dramatic performance was given by Peter Regan who played the Wolf. He produced the perfect wicked laughter enough to scare the bravest audience member! Richard Brearley, who played Dame Robyn Hood, put in a particularly flamboyant performance and was an excellent Pantomime Dame. The three Little Pigs were highly amusing getting up to all sorts of mischief avoiding being turned into bacon butties! They were played by Ralph Firth, John Sellers and Callum Mackay There was a good use of space with the Granny, played by Linda Mallen, and the Wolf running around the audience several times during an exciting chase. After much commotion, Granny and Little Red Riding Hood were eaten by the Wolf but were saved by the heroic Woodcutter (Sam Palin).
Audience participation was exercised throughout the performance with plenty of “He’s behind you!” and “Oh no he isn’t, oh yes he is!” Sweets were thrown into the audience in abundance and everyone enthusiastically joined in with a sing-a-long of, “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?” at the end of the show. Musical director Diana Webber played the piano beautifully giving a fine performance.
For the first time this year there have been five performances of the pantomime instead of the usual four. Mike Dixon, director and producer of the show, was very pleased with the attendance numbers for all of the performances.