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Snow White & Friends

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The Haddenham Players' presented their panto 'Snow White' over the weekend just passed. Here, Sarah Wood kindly offers her reflections on an entertaining and enjoyable evening'.

I attended the first night of Haddenham Players pantomime "Snow White". It was the first time they had done it in the hall, due to the pressures of having to construct the stage before acting on it and they must be congratulated on adapting so well to the different surroundings, which I know from experience is not easy.

We were introduced to the story by fairies from the Buckingham School of Disco Dancing, some of them very young, and a very pretty Fairy Thistledown, played by Gill Reeves. Fairy Thistledown appeared at intervals to lead us through the story as it developed.

The dancers impressed me greatly, appearing frequently as the chorus, playing woodland animals and villagers as well as fairies, and in the second act seven of them played The Seven Little Friends. They had an amazing number of dance routines to learn, beautifully choreographed by Lyn-Louise Buckingham, and made delightful Little Friends, with quite a lot of lines to learn.

Mike Sullivan made an excellent dame, dressed in suitably garish costumes, gaining a very good rapport with the audience, and making a number of topical jokes. He and three other men, playing the Court Chamberlain and courtiers/villagers, along with Gill Reeves, were the only actors who had been members of the The Players before the show, and they all performed well. It was therefore very fortunate that three new ladies, and one man, answered the advert for actors.

Rebecca Taylor made a suitably evil Queen Maligna, and drew well-deserved hisses and boos from the audience! Darcy Power was a charming Snow White and Alice Ashwell a dashing Prince Michael. They all had good singing voices and will be valuable new members for the company. Stuart Taylor who played Chuckles did well with what I thought was quite a difficult part.

Director Linda Axford must be congratulated on her use of the talent she had available and coping with the constrictions she was faced with. The costumes supplied by Gillian Liddell were of the usual high standard and the set was cleverly designed with triangular flats, which could be turned round for different scenes. The simple black backcloth made a universal background, with some very well designed props to give the effect of different places. Lighting sound and both live and recorded music all worked well.

The audience were a bit slow to start with but warmed up as the evening went on (... Oh yes they did!) and enjoyed a very pleasant evening's entertainment. Well done to everyone involved.

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