House of Spice
Sports Pavilion, Woodways Rec
Bernard Hall, Cuddington
By Haddenham Webteam - 12th February 2019 8:30am
This weekend saw Haddenham Players deliver another of their well-received Panto's — this time it was the tale of the fortunate Aladdin and his journey from rags to riches.
The performance was Directed by Rebecca Taylor, who starred recently in the Players version of The Vicar of Dibley. For the Panto, Rebecca, a well established local music teacher, adapted favourite tunes from Abba and more into the colourful world of Aladdin. Assisted in this by lyricist Charles Davey — who in multi-talented fashion also played the Genie of the Lamp, the Genie of the Ring and PC Pong.
With Rebecca on keyboards the talented cast were lead into action by James Kershaw as a lively and witty Wishee Washee, engaging both adults and children in an increasingly amusing series of on and off stage interactions. The wickedly evil uncle, Abanazar, dramatically portrayed by Phil Donnelly, created the epitome of skulduggery and light menace throughout the performance.
The star crossed lovers who find true happiness were divinely sweet in both song and voice, portrayed by Stuart Taylor and Emma Woods. They brought to vivid life the Disney-esque characters of Aladdin and Jasmine. Divine in costume, song and dance the couple perfectly matched and delivered exemplar virtuoso performances.
The stage entourage was completed by Dale Nathan, bringing about a first for himself and fulfilling a life long desire to play in panto, he excelled as the bumptious Emperor of China. In the Emperor's wake were the bumbling 'Keystone Cops' of Susan Weide and the aforementioned Charles Davey as the madcap cops PC Ping and PC Pong.
Special mention to the non-speaking but hilariously untrainable panda 'Nobby' portrayed by Players stalwart Gill Reeves.
The children on stage were Ezra Hardy and Isabelle Hopcroft who played the parts of Palace Guards and Guardians of the Cave with adorable smiles and gentle stage presence.
No Panto is complete without a Dame, with Mike Sullivan reprising his annual role as the witty and wisecracking Dame Widow Twankey. With enormous wigs and sharp humour, he mixed with the audience bringing smiles and laughter from those attending.
The superb sets by Gordon Lawson were evocative and colourful with many amusing visual gags and touches which brought laughter from the audience.
Costumes, Catering, Makeup, Lights and Stage Management were all highly proficient.
Flash bangs for the appearance of the Genie filled the Village Hall with smoke and excitement. A great time was had by all.
Well done again Haddenham Players, a highly professional production from this band of dedicated amateurs.
See lots more photos of this wonderful production in the Galleries section.