Chard & Ilminster Review
PANTOMIME isn't an annual event in Winsham, but if last week's offering
of 'Cinderella' is anything to go by, more's the pity.
Sticking to the story, it was enlivened considerably by a certain amount
of sophistication not usually expected in this form of 'family entertainment'.
The play - written, produced and directed by Penny Pargiter - featured
Buttons as a faithful Dalmatian, and once one accepted the challenge to
tradition, the ugly sisters were given a really hard time with the
'animal' snapping effectively at their feet, but still being a faithful
and caring hound to Cinders.
Over the years, I have seen a number of lacklustre Buttons, and on that
score I could envisage circumstances where I might well have preferred
the animal version.
I have long harboured a wish to see a Fairy Queen that gave us less of
the goody-goody and a bit more glamour - my wish was fulfilled.
With overtones of Hermione Gingold of yesteryear, Meg Terrett was
something different. With her outrageous costume and beautifully
delivered asides to the audience, I half expected her light up a fag
after she had got Cinders off to the ball.
There was also a wonderful running joke. Something with no relevance to
the plot whatsoever but gaining increasing interest as the action
continues. In this instance it was an aged and doddery
courtier carrying a large jelly on a tray, coming and going and finally
falling on his face and scraping it up with a spoon. It is that sort of
thing that can enliven the proceedings.
There is in Winsham someone who is a dab hand at painting scenery and
creating impressions of depth and height. With such a small stage, space
is at a premium and John Houston masterminded a series of sets that were
appropriate and colourful.
Some 15 people were responsible for the costumes and this was a case of
quality matching quantity. Colourful and outrageous where necessary, the
cast were well served by the sewing brigade.
Sally Harper and Lucy Weller were the love interest, backed up by their
respective families and hangers-on who contributed to the general mayhem
and misunderstandings when required.
The principal contributors to all this were the ugly sisters. Buttercup
and Hiccup, thereby ensuring that the pace didn't flag and that the
audience got their fair share of participation, although they needed
An evening with a difference; they might not have had a panto in Winsham
for six years but do we really have to wait so long for the next one?
To rephrase the old television commercial, this was a show that reached
the parts other pantos don't reach.
Click on picture for names of cast
Click HERE for pictures
of the performance