Frances Chidell, Buckinghamshire Advertiser – December 15th, 2010
“A HIT or a miss?” my neighbour asked as we left after the first night. I said a hit. It was good to be back in the colourful, wise-cracking, absurd and magical world of panto.
Saturday afternoon was sold out to parents and children, but very few youngsters were there on the first night. So the company had to get us ladies and gentlemen, rather than boys and girls, to boo bad Abanazar (Alan Pennington in a fine costume), and yell ‘Wakey, wakey’ at Wishee-Washee (skilfully played by Sean O’Farrell), whenever he dozed off.
Catching the enthusiasm of the cast, we heartily obliged.
The opening was dramatic: a loud explosion as Abanazar appeared alongside what seemed like a dead body. No, it was Sarajane Hunter as the robot Slave of the Ring.
Georgie Kling, who started modestly as Aladdin in Chinese costume, blossomed in the second act dressed as principal boy. Finally she won the hand of modest Princess Jasmine (Sophie McCluskey) and when she rubbed the magic lamp she too had a slave, The Genie, Neil Goulder, a turbaned Egyptian coloured in mysterious dark blue.
Sarah Golding did a great comic job as the washerwoman Suzie Pong and proceedings were also enlivened by Tina Barclay and Liz Peskin as the duo Nana and Chop-Chop.
Among the songs, best in show was the principals’ line-up ‘If I Were Not In Pantomime’ each with co-ordinated actions, narrowly missing their neighbour. There were charming dance interludes by the chorus. The settings were China and Egypt.
Always prominent and funny was Simon Patterson as Widow Twankey, an experienced Dame. His wife Kate directed the show and their two daughters were also in the cast.
Like other local productions, various other families worked hard on stage or behind the scenes.