JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
Christ Church Players, CHelmsford
"Wait till you see our Dame," sing the merry villagers of Pennyfarthing. The cross-dresser in question is John Mabey, giving his all as Dame Trot, in John Morley's traditional panto [from 1981, though it hardly shows, except perhaps that Kaunda fell from power over twenty years ago !] His performance was assured and very funny – I was reminded of that classic Dame of yore Terry Scott.
Stirling support from a cast that spanned the generations – Aaron Morley as Silly Billy, Claire Shuter [who could teach some of the others a thing or two about standing still on stage] as the Vegetable Fairy with her leek wand, the excellent Juliet Kelly as the awful Mrs Blunderbore, Amy Harley as the charming Princess Melanie, and Saskia Goff as the daintiest of dragons.
Spick and Span, the Royal Guards [fun with a whiteboard] were Alex Houlton and Mike Archer, the poor old King, Vernon Finding.
And not forgetting two excellent performances from Pippa Moriaty as the thigh-slapping Principal Boy [some lovely singing, without benefit of band or microphone] and Paul Winter as the horrible henchman Fleshcreep. With his whip and his scary make-up, and superb vocal delivery, he had two tiny tots in tears just ten minutes into the show …
Daisy the Cow was inhabited by Ellen Purse, and the panto's director, Emma Moriaty.