Worksop’s Young Theatre Company is a performing arts school for young people, hence the title.
Their choice of pantomime at The Acorn was Cinderella, a gift for these youngsters.
They have an enthusiastic and devoted following too. Seated to my left was a young lady dressed as Cinderella and to my right a lady who arrived a little late as she had just jetted in from Spain. This is dedication and I could see why.
Company directors Craig and Hayla Hawes presented us with a slick and smooth-running show. Craig wrote the script and songs as well as arranging the music. With Zoe Banyard as her assistant director, Hayla directed the show and acted as choreographer too. A dance team, Attitude Dance were rehearsed by their own choreographer, Hayley Clarke.
Prince Charming and Cinderella were students Aidan Banyard and Katie Croft (Katy shared the role with Leah Plumley). Aidan’s rich singing voice was complemented beautifully by Katy’s and both took a very professional approach to the stage and their audience.
Buttons was the highly energetic Luke Roebuck. Luke is an old stager and a master when it comes to pulling extraordinarily contorted faces. He gave the role just that little bit extra.
James Overend made a rather dashing Dandini and played the role with a wry touch of humour.
Will Somerset played Baron Hardup on the final night (he shared the role with Adam Coleman) and impressed me with his acting skills. Imitating the posture and voice of an older man isn’t easy, but he managed this with ease.
Zoe Banyard was the punk-style Fairy Godmother. She acts with total assurance and reacts well to her fellow actors. Her fairy apprentice was star in the making James Mackinder as Fairy Nigel. He just about stole the show. His comic timing was spot on and his working of the audience absolutely faultless.
Making their guest appearances with the Young Theatre Company were David Cavell and Malcolm Pike as the two Ugly Sisters Fanny and Annie. You could tell they must have giggled through rehearsals. Dressed in spotty dresses and stripy pantomime stockings their rather questionable jokes were aimed at the adults in the audience and their more cheeky jokes hit the spot with the children.
Other elements made this show. The choral singing was joyfully exuberant. There was the small and indignant Travis, the cute dancing fairies and the stage-struck students. Parents and grandparents alike are right to be proud.
by Wendy Fidoe