Cinderella (re-written nightly by the cast) Mere Lecture Hall

MERE Amateur Dramatic Society’s pantomime is usually the last in the season, and this year they gave their devoted audience the favourite story of them all, Cinderella.

Taken from an original script by Pip Brown, Allan Glide and Chris Wood, this was Merely the story of Cinders, packed full of local references, awful jokes and lots of audience participation.

All the usual suspects are here, with a few extras including rats from a previous seasonal show.

Instead of a fairy we welcome SuperNan (Lesley Bennett), and Cinders (Elysia Cooper) is the daughter of Herr Bert Bristle (Les Manwaring), CEO of the Hairbrush Factory (with its huge new premises off the by-pass). Wicked stepmother (Angela Kincaid) is named Cher Bert Bristle, allowing a deal of I Got You Babe-ing. And her daughters are the almost identically dreadful Bella (David Lamb) and Donna (Howard Smith) – a poisonous combination.

With three gossipy old girls from Mere brought to waspish life by the ever excellent Mary White, Penny Allen and Rose Heesom, a knockabout duo in the hilarious personages of Allan Glide and Juliet Booth, and a baddy called Sweeney Bob (Peter Landymore) the fun was fast and furious.

And none more furious that the youthful Jessi Range as the Queen, turkey-pecking her husband Steve Harris.

Olly Cooper is a handsome prince, and Scott Range was a sort of Buttondini in this version.  MADS stalwarts Chris Wood as the wine merchant and Eric Kincaid as the Sergeant of Police  completed the main cast, all of them singing and joking and forgetting their lines and slagging off the sleeping prompt (Adrienne Howell) with gusto.

It’s the perfect village pantomime, involving all those audience members who have come along to see their friends and neighbours and have a good time.  And there was lots of energy in this company, which included several MADS newcomers.

All quiet on the panto front now, until November.


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