Join the Panto family
We are very sad that Ginnie Willcocks, our Director for the last four shows has decided to step down from that demanding role. We thank her for her huge commitment and for giving so many people so much fun.We are quite delighted to learn that Sue Onslow will take over the reins from Ginnie. Sue is enormously experienced in directing all sorts of “amdram” and she is certainly no stranger to panto. Oh no, she isn’t…! And she, too, is determined that Barrow Panto Group will carry on being great fun. Her enthusiasm is very infectious.
SO, WE’RE ALREADY THINKING EXCITEDLY ABOUT NEXT YEAR’S PANTO!!
We do need new members to step into the shoes of those who have recently left the village. We would particularly welcome new actors. You mustn’t feel that you have to be highly experienced or particularly talented. Sue will be guiding members to improve their acting skills during our weekly Wednesday evening rehearsals.
We are also looking for people to help back stage: you’ve no idea how many people it takes to put on a show: people to prompt, to pull the curtain, to move scenery, make the tea, make the costumes, make the scenery, do the make up, operate the lighting and sound equipment, etc etc. You really do feel part of a big family.
So if you’re thinking “yes, I fancy getting involved in that”, what next? We are holding an introductory meeting on Tuesday June 29th at Bishop Beveridge Club (on South Street) starting at 7.00pm. It’s for anyone interested in being in the cast of the next Panto and it will involve reading through sections of two or three scripts in order to decide which panto to choose for the next show. If you can’t get to that meeting, don’t worry. It isn’t for casting (did I see a joke there?)
Our first rehearsal will be on Wednesday 12th September in the Arts Theatre at Humphrey Perkins Community Centre. Look out for posters.
If you would like more information or if you want to register your interest, you can contact me, Judith Rodgers on 0771 8153117 or Rodgers_david@hotmail.com
Sleeping Beauty A review by Craig Johnstone
My family and I recently attended Barrow Panto Group’s opening night performance of “Sleeping Beauty.” I can’t remember a better evening of family entertainment for many a year.
It is always imperative to set ones expectations at an appropriate level when embarking on a visit to see any live performance, particularly so when that performance is written, directed and performed by a group of amateurs, however experienced. I was delighted to find that this year’s script was an original one by first-time panto writer, Helen Sadler and was not disappointed by it in any way. Following an opening number of ‘Let me entertain you’, the excellent King Ken and Queen B played by Simon Long and Val Gillings delivered what was to be only the start of a snappy and humorous dialogue.
The performance was in many ways given a professional edge by the younger members of the cast with every one of the characters understanding the meaning and theme of the script and expressing it well. However, the stars of the show were, as it should be in pantomime, the dames. Mrs Gruntfuttock, played by Gordon Kenneth, showed huge confidence and charisma to ad-lib when baited by a somewhat small but raucous audience. The finest moments were reserved for the evil Hortense, played by George Robinson, who gave a vintage performance. I promise that I have never cried so much with laughter. Though George was assisted by the prompt on a few occasions, he maintained an almost serene composure and never slipped out of character once.
The Barrow Panto Group perform all of their pantomimes in February or March each year, this year to what was, sadly and surprisingly, a small audiences, at their long standing home at Humphrey Perkins School.
The cost of the panto at £20.00 for a family of four was great value and I will certainly be reserving my tickets for next year.
To sum up, this was the perfect antidote to those late winter blues and one the whole family enjoyed. I can recommend a visit to see the village panto group to anyone who is in the mood for some fun!