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Audlem's Panto hits new heights

26th January 2006 @ 5:05pm – by Bill Consterdine
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Bill Consterdine always attends the panto's first night. Here he gives his review as '1st Nighter'

"The Audlem 5As Theatre Group really gave the village a pantomime to remember last night in the Public Hall. The Paul Alexander version of Aladdin set in both Cairo and the Land of a 1,000 Canal Boats was a rousing success.

With a cast of 55 there hardly seemed room on the stage, but with careful choreography and stage management all were accounted for. Besides the regulars, there was a surprising number of new faces in the cast and how nice to see youngsters of the chorus a few years ago playing leads with such confidence.

To mention names in a review is asking for trouble but all gave a good account of themselves. Charlotte Guerin as Abanazer Vizier was superb as was Melissa Baxter in the chorus – a star in the making!

The scenery, music and effects were a credit to the backstage and technical crew. Choreography showed much time and patience with the little ones, especially 'Tiger Feet'. A special word about the costumes: they were superb and the best yet.

It is now eleven years since the first 5As panto during which time there have been good and bad. This one, with a little sharpening, will undoubtedly be the best yet."

Cheryl Guerin is a member of 5As and much involved with the panto. She gives her insider's view of the first night.

"For a first night I thought it went very well, apart from a few minor hiccups. I thought the children were exceptional, especially Melissa Baxter and Abigail Poole who put a 100% effort in to all their dance routines. Both Bethany Sealey and Hannah Kirby were excellent as Aladdin and Jasmin, and Charlotte Guerin as Abanazar as the villain of the plot was very believable, frightening the audience as well as the cast.

The comedy element of the show was local plumber Pete Webb as Widow Twankey along with Helen Katterloher as Fez the Fuzz and Ian McClellan as El Cid. There was superb singing from Gary Kibble and Kirsty Emerton as Loca Da Croco and Ferrio, a Mafia Chief and his Moll. Olive Stretch played the domineering Queen Cholera with a very meek and mild King played by Matthew Brookes.

We had a good audience. The winner of the Programme Raffle was Sheila Jones whose programme now goes forward to the draw on Saturday night, where the winner will receive a Family Ticket for the "Proms in the Park" in June, kindly donated by ASET."


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