site search by freefind advanced

 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Silchester Players - The Wonderful Story of Mother Goose

27th to 28th January and 3rd to 4th February 2006.

From the Newbury Weekly News.

Madness and mayhem

Silchester Players: The Wonderful Story of Mother Goose, at Silchester Village Hall, on Friday, January 27, Saturday, January 28, Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4

You can always rely on a Norman Robbins script to provide all the essentials of traditional pantomime, and The Wonderful Story of Mother Goose is no exception.

Silchester Players' production of this feathery tale provided plenty of madness and mayhem, musical entertainment and audience participation. Even if some of the jokes were older than the cast, the players provided a fresh and lively performance under the firm direction of Kevin Belcher.

At the centre of the action, Keith Graham was as outrageous as ever, sending himself up hilariously at every opportunity Resident clowns Alan Moorehouse and Brian Gillett were in fine form as Sage and Onions, with their constant stream of repartee. Helen Chesterman made a suitably imposing and gung-ho principal boy, Colin, and Cara Jewell was delightful as young Jill.

Young Andrew Ballingall as Billy Goose threw himself confidently into the audience participation - an up-and-coming talent who just needs to slow down a little. Tony Oliver provided a singularly oily villain in the shape of Clarence Creep and Janet Taylor gave a nice cameo as the Fairy Queen. Ellie Cullen was excellent as Fairy Harmony and contrasted well with Sarah Oliver's distinctly chilling Discord (but were we supposed to boo or cheer when they took their bows together?)

Finally, we mustn't forget Robert Nicholson as Priscilla the goose who laid some painfully impressive-looking golden eggs!

Musical director Stephen Oliver on the keyboard should be congratulated for keeping the music live, while confident choreography from Trevor Dobson and Nicki Ridout gave us a number of uplifting chorus numbers (smile, everyone) contrasted with some eerily effective UV-lit sequences from the young fairies and sprites.

All-in-all, a great family show and well worth seeing. Silchester's village hall was packed last Saturday, but you might just catch the repeat performances this Friday and Saturday