10th – 12th November 2011
Loosely based on the well-known Northumbrian nursery rhyme, this panto tells a tale of separated lovers, dastardly pirates, jolly Jack tars and a search for buried treasure.
Also featuring are the Pantomime Dame, of course, along with a host of others, from castaways to red-Indian princesses to boatswain to pantomime cow. There’s even a sea-battle to keep the special effects team puzzling!
Townsfolk: Cathy Leatham, Caitlin Leatham, Liz Saxton, Helen Saxton, Hannah Belton, Wendy Dixon, Fearne Cooper and Sharon Cook
Sailors: Ian Hickling, Paul Shave, Robin Hawkins, Eric Saxton, Shane Lambourne, Simon Ball
Mother Oakham: Andy Nunn
Pintpot: Peter Whitworth
Polly Oakham: Lauren Adams
Purser: Rob Bell
Calico Jack: Michael Sheperia
Ezekial Hands: H Connolly
Ginger Tom: Simon Ball
Mr Simm: Brenda Prior
Black Bob Spinnaker: Mark Bailey
Granny: Liz Saxton
Lieutenant Cherry: Nick Roberts
Bos’n: Paul Shave
Princess Flo: Hannah Belton
Abraham Yasser: Shane Lambourne
Kowalski: Ian Hickling
Daisy the Cow: Helen Saxton & Hannah Belton
Ben Gnu: Charlie East
Skipper: Caitlin Leatham
Ping Pong: Charlie East
Squatting Octopus: Ian Hickling
Mini Cooper: Cathy Leatham
Dancers: Wendy Dixon, Fearne Cooper and Sharon Cook
Bobby Shaftoe: Naomi Read
Braves: Helen Saxton & Liz SaxtonProduced by Eric Saxton
Writer/Producer Dave Hawkins
Assistant Producers Helen Saxton and H Connolly
Newbury Weekly News review
Yo ho ho…
There are two types of pirates: bad and very, very bad. According to Dave Hawkins’ clever and very entertaining pantomime Bobby Shaftoe, that is.
Getting the balance right in an original script is challenging (I know, having dabbled in a past life) but this production was chockfull of good ideas, traditional and quirky comedy and lots of swashbuckling action – to please children and adults alike. It was a little thin musically, and the pace dipped a couple of times, but with a host of colourful and well-played characters, local and topical references it all kept it rolling along to a delighted Friday night audience.
In a rousing opening chorus of There is Nothing Like a Dame, we were introduced to Mother Oakham, played by Andy Nunn in a rather laidback and understated style, but nonetheless connecting with the audience charmingly and with loads of jolly quips.
Mark Bailey as the very, very bad pirate, Black Bob Spinnaker, with a penchant for gizzards, had tremendous presence and balanced his evil streak with a deft touch of comedy. Lauren Adams as Polly Oakham, turned in a winning and sterling performance and Naomi Read confidently struck just the right notes as the eponymous hero Bobby Shaftoe.
With a named cast list of some 23 characters I can only commend the players for the way in some of their seasoned actors took on small roles – but this added to the strength of the production – giving a whole host of lovely characterisations.
Among the many performances I enjoyed, and there were many, was Rob Bell (Purser), Ian Hickling (Squatting Octopus), Hannah Belton (Princess Flo) and Charlie East (Ben Gnu) – not forgetting the Gorilla, Daisy the Cow and the beautiful mermaid – the list should go on.
With good production values, including, four terrific sets and great costumes, this was a heart warming production that ticked all the boxes for a village pantomime, congratulations to producers Eric Saxton and Dave Hawkins.