PANTOMIME REVIEW — ‘Hansel And Gretel’, Holgate Comprehensive School, Hucknall.
IN one way at least, the first-ever pantomime to be staged by Holgate School could be compared to a Shakespeare play.
As in the Bard’s ‘Comedy Of Errors’, the school’s entertaining show derived much humour over mistaken identity through the inclusion of identical twins in the cast.
In the school’s case, they were the ‘dynamic duo’, Hugh (Adam Pearson) and Stu (Frank Burbage), who lived in the town of Olde Holgersville.
Another pair of twins were Hansel and Gretel themselves (Ben Morrison and Kaitlyn Matthews), who resided in the town’s mill with their dad, Cuthbert (Tom Morley), their stepmum, Pru (Beth Davies), and their lovely older sister, Lola (Kelly McGhee), with whom Hugh was in love.
Hansel and Gretel ran away from home, escaping Pru’s plans to send them away to Scotland, and ended up trapped in a cage in the adjoining forest.
Lauren Roe was a particularly impressive baddie, the witch Scorpio, who was allergic to her home — made of confectionery — and looked forward to cooking the young twins for her dinner!
Ben Roe was the panto’s ebullient dame, Delilah Dumpling, a baker well known for her big baps! Aiding and abetting the hectic goings-on were Barney, a ‘clueless random’ (Daniel Finney) and the Wise Woman Of The Woods (Kiera Vann), while Fahad Qayyum proved he’d got talent as Cuthbert’s billionaire brother, David Hasselhoff.
As well as writing the script jointly with Rochelle Mace, Rebecca Morris teamed up with Sarah Chumun to direct the panto. It was in the spirit of the show that after the second of the two performances, Rebecca received a custard pie in her face!
The production team also included musical director Bill Peverelle and choreographer Georgina Grimshaw, with the school band making a tuneful contribution.
Even though a brisker pace would have been welcome in the lengthy second act, the exhilarating production was a praiseworthy effort by everyone involved and it certainly enhanced the school’s specialist status in the arts.
I can hardly wait for another Holgate panto.