All Your Favourite Pantomime Characters in one Show!
Byley Village Players – Abanazar’s Revenge
The advertisement said ‘all your favourite panto characters in one show’ and that is most certainly true. In this original pantomime by Cheshire based writer Ian Hornby, the Evil Queen and Abanazar have pooled their wicked forces to get their own back on the good guys. They kidnap Snow White, Princess Jasmine and Sleeping Beauty and it’s up to Dick Whittington, Aladdin and Prince Charming, aided by Widow Twankey, Wishee-Washee, the cat, the good fairy and the genies to make a rescue attempt.
The very beginning is rather dark as thunderous music makes us wonder where we are (whether we are in a nightclub or hell) and I felt a genuine shiver as a scary apparition appeared at my side. The Evil Queen added to the mood as she welcomed us, if that is the word, to the Kingdom of Insomnia. However the laughs soon came as the Mirror and Abanazar competed to tell the Queen how ugly she is. (So that’s why no one can get to sleep!)
The effects, particularly those from the sound department, were very impressive. Music is a very important part of a pantomime and the songs, whether specified in the script or dreamed up by the production team, were always appropriate and, most importantly, fun!
On checking the author’s website I found that the script was written to make the most of a young cast and the youthful leads in this production certainly rise to the occasion. Such confidence in young performers is a delight to see and is a credit to the director.
Whilst this panto is unusual in a number of ways, one of the most striking is that the rotten old jokes aren’t actually rotten or old at all. In fact originality is the theme here and it is a pleasure to see a pantomime where I don’t know the story like the back of my hand. That said, all the classic elements are here. The “Behind Yous” and the “Oh No It Isn’ts” are there in abundance and this is a show that the whole family are going to love.
Evil Queen – Audrey Stock
Mirror – Danni Goodier
Abanazar – Jack Stock
Aladdin – Bethan Wiggett
Dick – Sue Beckerton
Cat – Emily Ellison
Prince – Lucy Hough
Jasmine – Megan Latta
Beauty – Phoebe Elkins
Snow White – Kirby Berry
Emperor -John Jones
Twankey – John Stock
Wishee – Kirsten Ditchfield
Genie – Frank Leather
Fairy – Suzy Cartlidge
Genie of the Ring – Louise Bennion
Directed by John Cartlidge
Sound and Lighting by Graham Hough
The Pantomime is at Byley Village Hall and runs from Wednesday 27th January to Saturday 30th. Curtain up at 7.30 pm plus? a matinee on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. For tickets call 01270 761036, 01606 44100 or 01477 533293.