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2003 - Christmas Show....



"There Was An Old Woman......."

by Blakeney Players at Blakeney Village Hall

 Written by, directed by and starring local doctor Peter Franklin in the title role, "There Was An Old Woman....." is, however, anything but a one man show. A cast of twenty seven take to the stage in Blakeney Players' latest New Year pantomine - and a very enjoyable pantomine it is too.

 Franklin has kept the traditional basic story-line and cleverly intertwined several ideas of his own as well as introducing the requisite local references. The old woman has her usual brood of children, her old mother (Janet Harcourt) would be well placed in The Kumars while Pat the Postman (Ray Rudd) is a regular visitor to the shoe bringing various tidings of bad news. Alison Mawson gives a series of excellent cameo performances as her character fulfils several guises ranging from social worker to new age earth mother while the proprietor of the local shoe shop, El Sid (Iain Mawson) and his delightfully dippy daughter (Sue Andrews) are also well to the fore. 

The set is kept relatively simple and either covers the home inside the shoe or the grounds outside where a party of ten eccentric twitchers led by Gail Woodhouse and Ralph Wiggins are looking to spot the Egyptian goose - "she's behind you!" - and so win the F.A (Feathers Association) Cup. Meanwhile the villains Dave Long and Marjorie Davies, are trying to shoot the goose whose presence is the last remaining obstacle preventing them from gaining permission to demolish both the shoe and El Sid's shoe shop so they can develop the site. Long, in particular, is a hugely talented actor who plays up to the audience and is a master of the ad-lib  (that line was written by Shakespeare, not Franklin!).

 Davies is also a very talented choreographer and The Players are fortunate to be able to call on these talents. The final number "There's Nothing Like a Dame" featured the entire cast and the slick movement of this particular number owed a lot to her professionalism. As is to be expected of a local pantomine the show contains several songs, some of which are sung better than others but without giving the game away the show, as expected, ends happily and also features an appearance by Her Majesty The Queen who bears a striking resemblance to John Ratcliffe.

 Well done, Blakeney, and for those who have not yet seen it, there is a performance this evening (Thursday 15th) and a final one on Saturday at 8p.m.

 Martin Braybrook