Sunday, January 20, 2013


Little Waltham Drama Group
at the Memorial Hall

Alice the Panto was a refreshing change from the traditional canon, and though the script rarely sparkled, the entertainment value was high, thanks to some great performances and many delightfully unforeseen twists.
The invisible swords, the Karma Violets, the satnav. And the walkabout [with sweeties for all] was done this year by three wild haggis, to the strains of There's A Moose Loose …
A strong, experienced chorus provided many of these delights, not least the playing card army, proudly led by Richard Butler's camp commandant. Richard also brought the house down with his stoned Caterpillar.
Hannah Walker was a confident Alice, with Ken Little as Dame Milly, her mum, in a splendid playing card hat. Martin Final brought gravitas to the baddie, and Heather France worked brilliantly with Debra Hensman as the Tweedly Twins. From a huge cast, space only to mention Mike Lee's Mad Hatter, Viv Abrey's formidable Queen, trembling with fury, and Alex Lee's outstanding turn as Wally the jester, with cap and bells and an unending stream of groanworthy jokes – "plenty of hoke" indeed.
Good design work, too, with the goldmine backdrop especially impressive, lovely costumes in rich hues, and a marvellous mix of music [Darrel Drake at the keyboard] from the old Disney version to the almost operatic theme from the Tim Burton movie.
This unusual panto was adapted and directed by Jenny Broadway, with Chrissy Gould as Musical Director.

production photograph by Holly Anne France

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