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2005 - Christmas Show....

 

RUPERT AND THE THIRD SOCK

"Rupert and The Third Sock"

 Blakeney Players - Blakeney Village Hall

 The first Rupert Annual appeared in time for Christmas 1936 and, having appeared every year since, the little bear in his traditional red jumper and yellow trousers has arrived at Blakeney courtesy of writer and director Sue Andrews who freely admits being inspired by Alfred Bestall's original drawings.

 Children, for the past seventy years have been enthralled by the adventures of the bear and his friends from Nutwood and Rupert and The Third Sock gives the young and not so young every opportunity to indulge their childhood fantasies. Thanks to the excellent costumes created by Barbara Franklin and her team the characters come to life and whoever came up with the idea of providing each character with a convincing replica of their head is to be warmly congratulated.

Jane Temple takes the lead role of Rupert and as the bear struggles to find a Christmas present for his father ( a pair of socks which will not wear out) he encounters all sorts of typically strange happenings in Nutwood which, thanks to the discovery of the third sock, he and his friends not surprisingly manage to solve. Rupert is especially well supported by Bill Badger (Dave Long) and he it is who leads the entire company and the audience in one of the best moments of the show as they get their tongues around the song "Does this shop stock shot socks with spots."

 If there is a criticism it is that there was too much dialogue and not enough musical items but the dialogue, some of which is in rhyming couplets typical of the Rupert stories does give plenty of opportunities for all the favourite characters, such as Edward Trunk (Gail Woodhouse), Constable Growler (Sue Matthews) Bingo the Brainy Pup (Ralph Wiggins) and Algy Pug (John Ratcliffe) to be well to the fore while the Chinese Conjurer (Iain Mawson) cleverly fills the time in front of the curtain between the scene changes.

 The enthusiastic company are again to be congratulated for providing some original entertainment for their loyal and equally enthusiastic followers.

 Martin Braybrook