Peter Pan, SNADS at Sturminster Newton Exchange

promptsnadspanSTURMINSTER Newton Amateur Dramatic Society has a new star in its 2014 pantomime – no mean feat in a show that features SNADS’ delicious regular dame, Ian Greig, as Mrs Twinkey the cook, and Giles Henschel channelling his inner villain as a dastardly Captain Hook.

Holly Fripp, who plays Wendy in this new version of the JM Barrie classic, has a lovely and very secure singing voice, with a wide range and a really musical tone. Wendy is often a bit of a goody-two-shoes with precious little to do, but casting such a fine singer gave the character a real role.

Holly has weekly singing lessons and has passed Grade 6 singing – she hopes to go to college at Guildford to study drama.

Holly Allum, who plays Peter, also hopes to study drama and performing and make a career on the stage. She certainly played her part with plenty of thigh-slapping swash and buckle.

His nemesis, Captain Hook, is played with evil glee by Giles Henschel, with full-bottom black wig, gleaming hook, hollow laugh and lily liver, sneering and snarling at his crew as they sing their shanties (well led by William Peat as the Bosun) and the audience as they boo and hiss.

This new version, adapted and directed by John Skinner (with co-director Jenny Powell) takes most of the elements of the familiar story, but weaves in a new character, Mrs Twinkey the cook (Ian Greig’s 21st dame for SNADS) who finds some of Tinkerbell’s magic dust to fly to Neverland where she is very drawn to Hook’s first mate Smee (Martyn Lilley) who bears an uncanny resemblance to her husband Albert who went to sea and never came back.

It’s full of bright and original ideas, including the Beautiful Mermaids (Kirstie Price, Amy Trim and Alice Ralph) and the Ugly Mermaids (Mark Steggles and Matt Goddard, complete with neon wigs and Madonna-style pointy bras), and a fairy story-teller (Alison Mash) who keeps the action moving.

The scenery painting, particularly the exotic Neverland plant life, is very attractive and there is an excellent band, under musical director Elaine Korman.

The panto continues to 15th February – book your ticket to Neverland for two hours of great fun, excellent singing and lots of laughs. FC



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