HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
St Andrew's Youth Fellowship
Sandon Village Hall
Close behind Waltham's Frankenstein in the preposterous panto stakes, comes SAYF's Hunchback, a very long way after Hugo and Disney.
Produced and directed by Peter Ellis, it featured ultra-violet dancing skeletons in the Catacombs, talking gargoyles, as well as valued traditions like the competitive singalong and the flying sweets, and the best panto exit line this season: “See you later, boys and girls, I've got to get ready for the hanging ...”
The original music had been replaced with bankers from Broadway – Avenue Q, Oliver, Fame, Hairspray, and a little more appropriately, Les Misérables.
Sophie Cooper had a lively personality as Gringore, and Laurence Green was the dame again, this time busty patronne Fe Fe La Large. Katherine McKeon looked great as the gypsy Esmerelda, and sang and danced well, too. My favourite number, though, was the duet by Molly Harris's Yvette and Jessica Moore's Quasimodo.
The beautiful set - Notre Dame in grisaille – was by Adam Delf, and the Musical Director was James Tovey.
This annual fund-raising panto is a welcome reminder of the days when all youth groups – and many others – would work for months to put on a show. Long may it thrive, but could we have something a little more traditional next year ?