THERE’S nothing quite like a traditional village pantomime, in which anyone who wants to take part can be sure of satisfaction.
The writers, adapting time-tested stories, can add and subtract characters at will, and the result will always be real community spirit and even more family/audience participation at the performances.
Such a panto group is Tisbury Arts Group (TAG), and this year’s show is a free version of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, on stage at the Nadder Centre until Saturday 26th January.
All the usual suspects are included – from a supremely hissable Milady de Winter (Liz Coyle-Camp) and her Ming-the Merciless made-up Cardinal Richelieu (Steve Whittingham) to the dashing D’Artagnan (Charlie Greenwood).
Christian Allsopp is the pseudo-sinister Charlie, and his angelic aunts are TAG favourites Sallyann Morris, Shirley Banas and Judy Fitzpatrick in the guise of the missing musketeers of the title. They are joined by the TAG secret weapon Kieran Castle as Billy Doo, whipping the audience into a frenzy of participation.
There’s no panto without a dame and Dave Milas is an extravagant Fleur Deleece, even if the eye make-up could do with a bit of adjustment! He directed the show too.
The lovelorn King and Queen are Karen Aylwin-Foster and Rachel St John, and D’Artagnan’s romantic interest is her majesty’s lady-in-waiting Constance (Lucy Castle).
The comic duo (as if it all wasn’t funny enough!) are Sarah Nicholls as Mercy Boocoop and Rosie Bacon as his/her dumb sidekick Sylvia Plate. And then there’s a host of other minor characters all adding their bit to the chaotic comedy.
This is the sort of pantomime you go to see your friends and neighbours on stage and in the audience. To cheer them on, join in the songs and routines (at Tisbury there are aways a lot of audience routines!), and raise funds for the community.
Forget Brexit, forget the wintry weather and go along and sing.