Another Hardwick Panto Success!
There were two packed houses at John Bridles’ Hall Hardwick on Sunday 18 January for the 2015 Panto “Ali Baba and the forty thieves”. It just gets better every year and in this their 20th annual performance, Farmer Bob Productions have exceeded even their own high standard with their latest offering.
Forget the full complement of thieves, it was cut down to just four with Mrs Thief and her three sons Nick, Stop and Robert who make up the “four T thieves” get it ? Throw in Mrs Baba, her sons Ali and Casim and her daughters Tracy and Sharon and you have the ingredients for an hour of non stop laughs. The narrative held together by two rats resident in Mrs Baba’s cupboard, both with a suspect French accent. The plot entailing copious amounts of tea which is first stolen by the villains, hidden in a cave before being recovered by the good guys and the statutory panto happy ending.
The two rats were very ably handled by Steve Murray (Rat – a- tat) and Julia Beer ( Rat – a – toui) and Paul Gregory was in charge of the lighting and sound .
Isla St Clair was superb as Mrs Thief, as well as her singing being spot on as you would expect, she also makes a very scary villainess. Whether she was in total control of her wayward sons is another matter but they were brilliantly played by James Hague (Nick), Paul Sullivan (Stop) and Debbie Mitchell (Robert) whose problem in pronouncing her ”T”s was a great running gag.
In the Baba family (Big) Dave Rose was an imposing Ali, his snake charming very impressive and Trefor as Casim , complete with wind turbine headgear, hit just the right note, except when singing that is. That leaves the three girls in the Baba family. Rose Gregory as Tracy the Essex girl was excellent and great foil to Ant Mitchell who was hilarious as her less attractive (and more desperate) sister Sharon.
Finally there was Bob Gregory, brilliant as Mrs Baba with the jokes, cakemaking and all else you expect from the dame. Bob produced, wrote, directed, choreographed and masterminded the whole thing and it is a great credit to him and his team for putting on this quality show.
A great way to keep warm on a cold January day.
Roll on January 2016 for the 21st.
The two shows raised over £500 towards the upkeep of the Hardwick village hall.
Please take a look at the photographs on our Gallery page. http://www.hardwick-village.co.uk/gallery/