IT’S not often in today’s society that you get a chance to applaud youth, well, in order to do so you should look no further than Crowland and the CADS annual pantomime writes JANE HARRISS AND JOANNE STRICKLAND.
Robinson Crusoe was performed last weekend at the University Academy Holbeach Crowland Campus, and CADS once again pulled off a truly amazing panto, and what was so remarkable, was the wonderful community atmosphere they generated, allowing youngsters to flourish and expand their talents. Established members were proud to hand over to the younger members, an ethos which clearly paid off. Proof of this was this year’s producer, Matthew Smith, who began life with CADS as a youngster in the chorus and has now taken the reins to put others through their paces. Matthew was ably supported by production director John Munton.
The panto opened with an array of colour and sound which continued throughout, the costumes and scenery were bright and eye catching and the chorus of young children was talented, enthusiastic and professional.
Daniel Boon’s first outing as a saucy Dame (Mrs Crusoe) was one to be very proud of, throwing himself into his character with gusto. Andre Chambers gave super comedic support as Gilber, the loveable idiot sworn to look after Kathie, played by Shannon Wilkinson, who had made an admirable step up from the chorus. Aimee Waller, back this year as principal boy, was a heroic Robinson Crusoe.
The staging of the ship was great and a special mention must go to the young pirate captain, Long John Copper played by Matthew Rostron. A more assured performance from a young performer would be hard to beat, his interaction with the misguided money grabbing parents of Kathie, Lord Roger de Botherus (Vikki Allen) and Lady Mildred, his very bossy and demanding wife (Jayne Munton) was very funny. The good and evil characters were portrayed beautifully by Olivia Mattless as Fair Breeze (also her first principal role) and Lianne Johnson as Queen Neptune - very green and scary.
One of the scene stealing performances has to go to Alex Waller as Man Friday who was outstanding, with great comedy timing and a brilliant singing voice. Harry Parsons and Heather Baker gave a comedy turn as the Island Chief and his man mad daughter and King Neptune (Sue Day) gave the panto its usual enthusiastic cast.
The backstage crew provided wonderful support, after many hours of preparation, the lighting, make up, choreography, countless helpers and live music led by Liam Wilbor, added that touch of magic that brought the show alive - all the ingredients which provided a great night of family entertainment that Crowland should be proud of and long may it continue.