Dereham Operatic Society - SnowWhite
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
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Director - Jill Jarman
Assistant Director - Catherine Hartley
Musical Director - Ian Futers
Choreographer - Amy Futers
28th December 2013 to 4th January 2014
at Dereham Memorial Hall
SNOW WHITE - Ellie Buckingham
QUEEN AVARICE - Chrissie Robertson
EDNA BUCKET - Paul Allum
CHUCKLES - Gareth Evans
PRINCE FERDINAND OF FARAWASIA - Francesca Read
FAIRY GOOD FORTUNE - Heather Neave
MERLIN OF THE MAGIC MIRROR - Nathan Harrod
JUSTICE QUILL - Jen Alexander
SCRIBBLES - Nick Bird
SLURP - Doug Hartley
THE SEVEN DWARFS
BRAINY - Katrina Porter
SMILEY - Rebekah Hartley
DOZY - Ellie Read
GRUMBLY - Matthew Hartley
BLUSHFUL - Daisy Brook
SNOOZY - Harriett Fenby
SNIFFLE - Lauren Matwij
Karen Barnes, Doug Bailey, Helen Bailey, Selina Bhantoo, Dawn Boyd
Matilda Banks, Ashleigh Beale, Emily Dalton, Hermarne Freeman Pannett, Rebecca Howard
Chloe Bailey, Martha Bailey, Jade Copeman, Amy Futers, Lucy Daniels, Bryony Rowe
Review by Kathryn Cross, Eastern Daily Press, Thursday January 2nd 2014
"On a day when the rain fell virtually uninterrupted all day there was just one song to close a pantomime with - Bring Me Sunshine. And that is exactly what Dereham Theatre Company did yesterday afternoon to bring their production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to a happy ending.
As you would expect from this very professional cast it was a sunshine show from start to finish. Some strong singing voices, especially Snow White herself played by Ellie Buckingham, and the "baddie" Queen Avarice, played by Chrissie Robertson, to some chart hits as well as traditional songs, teamed with some excellent staging. The Magic Mirror was very cleverly used and led to a very amusing reflection scene and some of the Seven Dwarfs coped well with their shortening of stature. Little Daisy Brook showed no signs of stage-fright to bring a very confident Bashful while Lauren Matwij's sneezes were always right on cue!
The whole cast all played their parts with ease and even brought a range of dialects from the cockney Slurp (Doug Hartley) to the northern twang of the dame Edna Bucket (Paul Allum) and of course the dulcet Norfolk tones of the Fairy Good Fortune (Heather Neave). Special mention has to go to Justice Quill played by Jen Alexander for some great characterisation.
The script, written by Alan Frayn, had its fair share of local jokes, of which both Fakenham and Swaffham bore the brunt, and was suitably fast paced.
If you haven't seen it yet you should really try to get one of the few remaining tickets for tonight or tomorrow."
Review by Stephen P. E. Hayter, NODA Regional Representative Area 4 North
3rd January 2014
"How quickly it had come round again, that annual blurring of the lines between professional and amateur theatre that is the Dereham Theatre Company annual family pantomime. Last yearís Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates had elevated this traditional British art form to a new level and to follow it was always going to be tough. I was, however extremely optimistic as I took my seat once again to deputise for the legendary Sue Dupont.
I have to say from the onset that with last yearís script being one of the funniest I have ever had the pleasure to witness, this adaptation of the evergreen fairy tale was not of the same calibre. Having said that, Alan Fraynís penmanship was far from Grimm and there were plenty of laughs to be had by all.
I will not insult you by even wasting a single word explaining the story, suffice to say that this version was true to all those that had gone before. The scenery was excellent, and costumes, make up and lighting all of the highest standard. The dancers were in the very best form under the delightful choreography of Amy Futers and there was plenty to applaud in both the childrenís chorus and main adult chorus.
Of the supporting cast, I enjoyed Nathan Harrod as Merlin of the Magic Mirror and Heather Neave as Fairy Good Fortune, the latter making good use of her many pyrotechnic entrances. This script contained a lot of characters with many of them being involved in the comedy, so there were a lot of contenders for the title of comic lead. One who should certainly be considered was the excellent Nick Bird as sidekick Scribbles who had less to do than last year but did it brilliantly, being only slightly upstaged by Doug Hartley as the toilet cleaner Slurp who had to distil all his comedy from his characterisation, which was excellent from start to finish. The actual comic lead was probably Chuckles played by Gareth Evans who had played Dame on my last two visits. He had most of the scripted gags and although solid enough I left the theatre wondering if his delivery had got the most from his material. The actual Dame of this occasion was society newcomer, Paul Allum, who took the part of Edna Bucket and produced a brilliant characterisation and a scarily accurate Tess Daly impression that I could not decide was by accident or design.
Of the more prominent parts there was a good showing from Francesca Read as Prince Ferdinand and demure Ellie Buckingham was perfect as beautiful Snow White with a lovely singing voice to match her delicate but determined characterisation. The villain of this particular piece was Queen Avarice and she was beautifully played by Chrissie Robertson who managed to solicit the appropriate response to her every word and action.
Before I had taken my seat I had been primed to watch out for certain amongst the dwarfs but to be completely honest they were all excellent and complimented each other perfectly with universally strong and confident perfomances so I congratulate them en block as Katrina Porter (Brainy); Rebekah Hartley (Smiley); Ellie Read (Dozy); Mathew Hartley (Grumbly); Daisy Brook (Blushful); Harriet Fenby (Snoozy) and Lauren Matwij (Sniffle).
I save my penultimate paragraph for another Dereham newcomer who simply took my breath away with a master class in character acting. The part of Justice Quill (legal advisor to the Queen) could so easily have been a supporting cast part, but in the hands of Jen Alexander it became one of the central perfomances of this production. I donít think I have ever seen so much acting take place in a pantomime before and it was a joy to watch.
My compliments to Director, Jill Jarman for another wonderful pantomime and to Musical Director, Ian Futers for making it all go with a swing. This yearís offering has once again been the benchmark by which amateur pantomime will be judged."