Hansel & Gretel, Castle Bromwich Theatre Group, Arden Hall
THE pantomime season seems to get ever longer (oh yes it does!) and though it’s by no means the last of the current crop, Castle Bromwich Theatre Group’s show is one of the later ones – most wigs and outrageous costumes having been put safely back into storage by now.
As far as local amateur dramatic pantos go this was quite a large-scale production, with a huge cast, and a big stage to play it out on.
On this first night it took the players a little while to get warmed up, and the audience too, for that matter, but once they got going there was no stopping them.
Two characters tended to predominate in the shape of Dame Dotty (Ted Youster), and her son Tommy (Alex Gaymer-Jones).
Youster was the archetypal panto dame, and improvised wonderfully well when the occasion demanded it.
Meanwhile, Alex belied his relatively tender years to turn in a performance of authority and conviction, and did much to get the audience participating in the customary panto fun.
Debbie Hall as a suitably wicked Witch Hazel also stood out, but in truth the entire cast did themselves credit, particularly the young dancers from the Christine Ann School of Dance who underwent more costume changes than one might expect on an episode of ‘Strictly Come Dancing.’
This annual panto is one of the Castle Bromwish community’s institutions – long may it continue.