Re: Panto foiled by handling, Dec. 8.
I found Alex Browne’s review on White Rock’s Mother Goose pantomime condescending in parts.
He appears to have little idea of the concept of a local pantomime – it is not a ‘show’ with a professional cast, but hardworking, everyday people including youngsters that still attend school yet give their spare time to arduous hours of learning the art of pantomime and the nuances that go with it.
A pantomime is a play with farcical humour that is often above a child’s understanding. Topical jokes are more for the adult audience and mingled with songs and characters that children recognize, so audiences of all ages can enjoy the performance.
At the Dec. 10 performance, it was obvious the audience enjoyed themselves, given their participation in booing when bad characters – versus good characters – came on stage. True, there was a minor delay in cuing once, but that only added to the performance, as this is typical in pantos seen many a time in England.
Jill (Jackie Block) does indeed have a great voice but, as in typical pantomime fashion, her song was interrupted as expected and would not have deterred from her splendid performance in that context.
As to your criticism of the part of Mother Goose, given that Nigel Watkinson is new to the White Rock Players Club, he has shown huge potential and we enjoyed his performance and look forward to watching him ‘grow’ in his experience in local pantomime. His singing voice and diction were easily heard and made for easy listening.
There was no dragging pace or stepped-on-cues – to use your reviewer’s phrasing for the Dec. 4 matinee – during the performance.
Dave Baron has a keen mind for directing, along with his ability to make the performance come neatly together. The Good Fairy had no crude comments, just modern comments on life that were not offensive. I agree with Browne’s comments about the characters Wee Willie Winkie, Smith and Jones.
Perhaps your reviewer should consider how much work has been volunteered by all members of the cast before he makes such negative comments in the future.
G. Scanlan, White Rock