Before I begin with my review of this pantomime I feel it my duty to let you, the reader, know that I have a much biased opinion on this production. You see, two of our daughters were in the junior dancers and we’ve been on the panto journey since October!
I do enjoy a good pantomime and if I am honest I would much rather go see an local amateur production like this than I would a professional one in a large theatre charging too much money in order to pay a has-been soap actor or pop star. Our local production happens to be produced by the Pickering Musical Society (PMS) in their superbly quaint Kirk Theatre.
For 2018 PMS chose the classic tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears as the basis of their annual spectacle. I say “basis” because the story is somewhat embellished to stretch it into a full blown two act show lasting almost three hours. The show was, once again, written by society member Ron Hall and directed by Luke Arnold and the story moves along perfectly. This is the third PMS pantomime we’ve been to since moving to the area and when we heard the title of this one we did wonder just how it would be done – very well as it turns out.
With having two girls in the junior dancers they came home with the song lyrics for all the songs they were involved in after their first rehearsal. I did wonder how You’ll Never Walk Along would be worked into the story along with (Walking in a) Winter Wonderland but it worked so well. PMS has some very talented singers not only in title roles but in the chorus too.
Marcus Burnside returns once again this time as Dame Trott with Matthew Russel playing her son Simple Simon. Goldilocks, the Dame’s daughter, was played by Alice Rose. Miss Rose is a tremendous talent and I remember saying a couple of years ago that “she’ll be in a principle role in a couple of years” and I was right! The fact that Miss Rose was playing opposite her older sister in the principle boy role of Prince Edwin could have been awkward but it worked very well and their chemistry was very apparent.
The dancing from both the senior and junior groups was outstanding and credit Sarah-Louise Ashworth and Ashton Danby for the choreography. Those seniors work particularly hard with numerous dances throughout the show and appearing in every performance. The juniors stole the show for me though with the cuteness of their bear consumes and despite their young ages performed superbly and with confidence.
Fun fact: Across the two alternating junior dance teams of 7 there were 3 sets of sisters!
Further to the on stage talent in such abundance I have to mention the musicians led by Clive Wass who played excellently and the set designers who did such a wonderful job of creating the village of Dingly-down-well as well as the North Pole! My stint as a chaperone backstage also proved to me just how hard everyone works from the on-stage performers to the prop hands – the team work was epic and it was a pleasure to be able to witness that.
In all I saw this pantomime 2 and half times. The first time I took my two dancing girls to watch the other team of juniors, then the half came watching lots from the wings as chaperone and finally seeing the very last performance and our girls up on stage.
Well done to everyone involved in such a wonderful show. I’m already looking forward to 2019!
Thanks for reading.