BAKEWELL: Mother ofall pantos
The “Shoestring Players” have just completed their annual pantomime run at Bakewell Town Hall.
I went to watch Friday evening’s performance which, despite the snow, outside was extremely well attended.
Mother Goose is The Shoestring Players fourth annual pantomime, building on great previous productions including Babes in the Wood and Cinderella. The Town Hall provides a perfect social setting for an am-dram.
Traditionally Mother Goose is a narrated story, with Pat Bryant doing the storytelling honours in her big chair for The Shoestring Players, introducing a mix of good and evil and ensuring everyone lives happily ever after.
Good had to fight hard this year though with excellent villainy provided by Shirley Bowler as Naughty Nick the Wobblin Goblin, and Annie Cripwell as Madame Trollope, who was ably supported by an especially convincing Igor played by Louise Allen.
Good of course triumphed over evil in the end with our heroes and heroines marshalled by Fairy Fumble played by Erica Heptonstall. Bones and Tomaso played by Philip Proctor and David Miller added enjoyable cabaret in defeating the baddies, with the matrimonial sub
plot this year well enacted by Beth Riva as Primrose and Charlie Henderson-Howat as Jack Goodheart.
Special mention of Mother Goose herself, the Rev Tony Kaunhoven, Bakewell’s own’ ‘loose Canon’. Very entertaining and well acted, with some very funny adlibs and one liners. It’s a bit special when your town’s vicar pulls on a frock to entertain the community.
I’d like to mention Amy Allen especially - her Gertie the Goose was just the cutest character and very well performed.
Key cast members were supported by a very capable and well rehearsed chorus who changed costume so many times I couldn’t keep up.
Director and scriptwriter David Heptonstall always adds a different twist for spectators’ and cast’s entertainment, with new humour and topical relevance woven into the traditional storylines.
Mother Goose had everything a traditional community pantomime should have, local humour, adlib, slapstick and audience participation.
The quality of production is a result of not only strong performance and direction, but also the hard work of a large group of supporting members. Costumes, make up, music and scenery were all first class.
Congratulations to everyone concerned with the show. Really well done. I’m already looking forward to next year’s production! JT