Residents of Glossop were treated to a traditional family pantomime last week, as ‘Mother Goose’ flew into the local theatre for one week only. Partington theatre, situated in the heart of the the rural town, ran the show from the 28th November to the 5th of December and provided fun for all the family for their annual pantomime.
As a fairly unknown and peculiar choice for a pantomime, director, Carole Wilson, certainly landed herself with a golden egg after managing to execute this show so brilliantly-with a vivid and enthusiastic cast, which were a credit to the theatre.
The tale begins with Peter, a young male who lives with his mother and brother, Simple Simon, on a farm. Due to financial instability, the mother of the boys, played by Harry Lee, can not afford to feed the animals. The animals are about to leave the farm for good, until Priscilla the goose makes an appearance on the scene. Priscilla lays golden eggs for the family, for the return that they feed her and look after her. The animals decide to stay and Pricilla becomes part of the family. They are led to wealth, until the evil fox, Foxy Loxy, played by Matthew Cox, and his two evil sidekicks, Grabbit and Scarper, plot to kidnap Priscilla in hope they will become wealthy from Pricilla’s eggs themselves.
However, with the help from the three little pigs, they manage to hide Priscilla in the house made of bricks, and the family are safe once again!
Despite following a weaker story line than the theatre’s usual pantomime’s, the silly ‘dad jokes’ and the sheer enthusiasm from both the children and adults involved made up for the lacking plot line. With no girls the at the right age for auditioning for principal girl this year, the usual ‘love interest’ for the principal boy , which typically shapes the plot line, had to be dropped.Considering this, the scriptwriter, Barry Crossley, and director, Carole Wilson, did a fantastic job of turning a love story into a story of a family coming together to face obstacles. Although it was a weaker story line, it broke the typical pantomime conventions and offered an alternative to the same pantomime you see every year.
The show was also neatly choreographed throughout, providing a variation of dance that would showcase the children’s talents, yet also encouraged the older cast members to get involved. Then, between the end of the show and the finale, children in the audience were encouraged to go on stage and sing a song together- providing great audience interaction to keep the younger audience members entertained.
Particularly well played parts included the roles of Simple Simon, the mother, and Foxy Loxy. These roles entailed both dramatic and silly slapstick actions-commonly expected in a traditional pantomime, yet carried out to the highest of standards and had clearly been well rehearsed roles.
Principal boy, Peter McKernan, discusses his role as Peter, how the show was going, and what it was like to have a pantomime with no love interest…