An amateur dramatic group’s 36th annual pantomime had audiences flying out of their seats to clap, cheer and boo the bad guys.
The Morpeth Pantomime Society performed to sell-out audiences at King Edward VI School on two evenings and total ticket sales were up 50 per cent on the previous year.
Although Peter Pan is not a traditional pantomime, it has magic, pirates and Indians and the triumph of good over evil, so it was decided that it was a story which could easily lend itself to the genre of pantomime.
Writer and producer, Morpeth resident Gordon Carr, introduced the pantomime regulars like the society’s dame Dora Dyson the housemaid, who was promoted throughout the show from pirate wench to Indian squaw, air hostess and then back to finally adopting four of the lost boys and becoming the mother she longed to be.
There was also the slapstick comedy duo Simm and Smee, who kept the audience alive with their mayhem and madness, the brilliant traditional Captain Hook, and Peter Pan and Tinkerbell were amazingly well played by siblings from the junior members, as were the Lost Boys and Michael and John Darling.
This year also saw the addition of a live band, who played a wide variety of songs – from musical theatre show tunes to the theme from Mission Impossible.
One of the biggest challenges with a show like Peter Pan was creating the illusion of flying whilst ensuring the health and safety of the characters, whose role included flying from London to Neverland. It was achieved with some clever theatre magic and a sprinkle of Tinkerbell’s fairy dust.
The society’s chairman, Bruce Ennion, said: “The atmosphere was amazing both amongst the members of the audience and also backstage, where not only were we lucky enough to have a great cast but also a great crew and support from all members. I cannot speak highly enough of the fantastic support from the students at KEVI who provided technical support.
“Some of the technical team have helped with our shows for a few years and sadly they will be moving on in the summer to university or other endeavours and I know they will be missed greatly.”
The committee has already had a post-production meeting and its members are looking at expanding the season with some smaller shows in the future. This will be in addition to the pantomime next year, which will see the 37th show being performed.
For more information about the group and to keep up-to-date with its activities, visit www.morpeth pantomimesociety.com, like it on Facebook (www.facebook.com/morpethpantomimesociety) or follow it on Twitter (@morpethpanto).