Emperor's New Clothes Review
Shotley Drama Group Present
Emperor’s New Clothes:
Shotley Village Hall
February 17 – 20
Although you can see through the plot of this famous Hans Christian Anderson story, the acclaimed Shotley Drama group put its own unique stamp on this panto.
As always, the group showed a naked ambition in entertaining the audience who get the money’s worth in terms of a full production.
Yes, the gags are older than the eldest of actors, but are still groan-worthy nonetheless and no doubt even the youngest would grin and bear them.
Cleverly created sets and wardrobe mistress Teresa Heath’s colourful costumes leave nothing to the imagination as the cast danced, sang and acted, in the finest of panto tradition.
The upbeat songs were like, Simple Simon’s Pies, full of popular fillings full of happy talk and celebration, wrapped in a well-loved covering of familiarity.
More mature audience members will enjoy the nod to Monty Python, Nimbyism and even Steps, while a game of guess the accent was not too much of a distraction.
Once again the enthusiasm of the large cast, and indeed unsung volunteer back stage production crews, assisted by DHE Productions, had to be appreciated and it was noticeable how many children performed with their parents, a testament to the production and recruitment skills of Mandy Peters and Carol Blumfield.
Although too many to mention them all, there were stand out performances from the outrageously flamboyant Fabulozo Fettucini (Brian Harvey), Sydnee Nicholas as Aimee Nimby and her stage beau Michelle Merrin playing Sean Preen.
Newcomer Guy Johnson as Farmer Nimby gave a marvellous rendition of a Wurzel, with son Sammy a stalwart back up, while the youngest member, Adelaide Prime gave a whole-hearted and tenacious performance.
The Gleeds, Weedings, Connells, Merrins and and the Nicholas’ were all well represented, showing just what a wonderful family occasion this panto was.
While the twist at the end was not as transparent as the original play, the moral of the story regarding conceit, vanity, gullibility and plain stupidity remains intact.
The show runs from Wednesday to Saturday, with tickets on sale on the door and at the Shotley Rose pub.