Just before Chrismas we produced and directed a week of panto at Ludlow Assembly Rooms. Cinderella was a great success and our second panto after Robin Hood last year.
This time we collaborated with Jack Ludwig of his emponymous academy of musical theatre. He provided two lively and fleet footed chorus troops and the excellent lead actors who played Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother and Justine Beaver (more about her below). Jack choreograhed several group song and dance numbers including Footloose, I Put a Spell on You and Reach; as well as the lovely solo Green Finch and Linnet Bird from Cinderella and a beautiful duet Falling Slowly with her and Prince Charming.
We weren’t acting this year but wrote and devised the script with Ian Seddon, made props, sourced and edited the sound effects, and of course directed the acting and the routines.
The cast were superb with Ros Brown in full panto villain form as the Wicked Queen (escaped from Sleeping Beauty) casting spells and scaring children in the audience! The ugly sisters Theresa and May were monstrous shell suit clad 80s chavs - Eleanor Painter and Breanne Burton - who pumped up the dance moves and threats. They transformed for the ball with two of the most insane dame dresses ever seen - a house and a wedding cake!
David Scottswood as Buttons inhabited the sprit of Eric Morecambe and leapt around the stage with ad libs and gags. Chloe Yates was our saviour Prince Charming - joining us at the last moment, rehearsing for about 3 hours - and brilliant as a character and a singer.
Our junior leads were the amazing Millie Dyer as Cinderella and Millie Bennett as the Fairy Godmother.
And of course, the beavers
We were delighted to be working with Samuel Sockett again, who was in Robin Hood last year. He played Justin Beaver, alongside Lucy Jarrett as Justine. They were superb in their fur coats, tails and black noses, emerging from the bins and delivering crackling dialog and playing to the audience with incredible confidence. They are both 10 or 11 years old!
The Assembly Rooms staff from tech to front of house were fantastic, as were all the chaperones who ensured our juniors were organised and safe. And our juniors all seemed to have a great time!
The cast with chorus Troop 1
The cast and directors with chorus Troop 2
The audience seemed to have a great time too - up on their feet for Reach!