Once Upon A Witch
Cast & Crew
A warm welcome awaited me at St Cuthbert's at their full house, this so nice to see. The atmosphere was electric. There were a few groups in and they were in the mood.
This was a fast moving show, fill of colour and dare I say it, corny jokes. In my mind the master of these was Fr Douglas Moore as the Storyteller. He took us through the adventure and never let us wander, he was aided by Mr Squeaks played by Emily Caton. She played this part to its full, her dialogue replaced by squeaks added to the complexity of the role. Emily was cool calm a delivered it with style.
I partially enjoyed Charlie Lomax as the Magic Mirror, she portrayed the know it all mirror confidently. She may have benefited from slowing down here dialogue delivery but I feel for someone so young this will come with experience.
The story revolved around the journey of Aurora as she struggles to find out who she really is. Claire Marsden captured this from the onset. She held the audience in her hand. She had a clear voice and delivered her song confidently, in my mind she stole the show.
I was curious to see how not having a dame would play out, the Ideal part for the dame would have been the witch. But in a crazy way this story worked. Jane Cordingley played the part of the witch to perfection, she connected with the audience and teased and played them well. I enjoyed her comedy, she was well supported by Eleanor Tomlin and Linda Gregson as Snots and Snivels. As a comedy duo they interacted well, never letting their characters drop for a moment.
All in all, a well-balanced production, The cameo roles and the chorus moved and sang well. There were a few problems with lines on the night I attended. There had been a couple of substitutions, The Prince was played vibrantly by Ryan Otley and the Fairy Godmother by Janet Grime. Although Janet struggled with the dialogue she never let it beat her, a "true pro".
I would have liked more song content; I feel this would have added to the production. The costumes deserve a mention as they were bright and colourful and the lighting complimented the sets.
This was Claire Marsden's & Marie Robinson's first outing as Directors. The best I can say to this is well done, directing is such a daunting task to undertake. Finding young directors to take amateur theatre forward is so hard to find. Build on the experience and pitfalls encountered on this journey.
Author: Edward Munday