2013 Old Mother Hubbard Reviews

Daily Echo - Curtain Call

Monday 16th December 2013

By Anne Waggott

AVARICIOUS Squire Hardacre (archetypal villainous persona, David Woolford) dramatically increases the rent so Old Mother Hubbard (promising debut from Alex Rose), her son Simon (thighslapping Hannah Thompson) and dog Rover (engaging Connie Barnes) set out to find a way to save their cottage, the villagers’ homes and Simon’s love from the local henchman...

Abi Hammond’s radiant smile lit up the hall as Simon’s love interest; she brimmed with confidence, poise and sweet vocals. Peter Wooldridge was menacing and had a great rapport with the audience as henchmen brothers, Blunt and Sharp, while Tom Dickson and David Early’s bungling sidekicks were reminiscent of zanni figures.

This brand new pantomime (written by codirector Barbara Kearns) included all the stock characters, mix of corny and local in-jokes, bold storybook scenery and welltimed sound effects in a community theatre panto that grabbed and held the attention of the young audience members, keeping them interacting throughout.

 

The Worthys Parish Magazine

By Eleanor Hamblin

Once again the Worthy Players entertained capacity audiences with their pantomime at the Jubilee Hall in December. 'Old Mother Hubbard' which was written and directed by long standing member of the Worthy Players Barbara Kearns, gave actors both old and new many opportunities to show their versatility.

Newcomer Alex Rose, although not as plump as many a Dame, proved that the role of Mother Hubbard suited his obvious talents. He/she was supported by Connie Barnes who played the role of Rover the dog with obvious enjoyment. Hannah Thompson was well cast as the principal boy Simon Hubbard and no doubt we will see more of her in future pantomimes. Abi Hammond made a welcome return as Mary, Mary and her Lovely duets with Hannah were the musical highlights of the show.

There were villains galore in 'Old Mother Hubbard'! David Woolford as the very bad rich Squire Hardacre, had the audience booing and hissing whenever he appeared, as did Peter Wooldridge playing the dual roles of Blunt and Sharp. The Squire's ineffectual bailiffs Snatch and Grab brought humour and light relief and were ably portrayed by the versatile David Early and Tom Dickson. To complete the baddies there was Captain Bludgeon, a role in which Nick Kearns revelled.

Quite a formidable force for good to overcome, but nothing was beyond Gloria Sunshine and Sunny Spells! Both Alison Woolford, and Charlotte Hammond, resplendent in sunshine yellow satin, were equal to the task and as always the story had a happy ending. Supporting roles were well played by Janine Blackmore (Mrs Jailer), Amy (newcomer Lydia Straker), Cherryl Martin and Julie Pettigrew (villagers and sailors) and Billy Pettigrew (monster and Salesman).

The Musical Director was Miriam Edmond; the excellent costumes were produces by Shirley Lovell and Alison Woolford; David Woolford with members and friends of the group, was responsible for the convincing scenery, and lighting and sound were in the capable hands of Richard Aldous.

The Worthy Players are fortunate to be able to call on so much talent within the group and they are to be congratulated on yet another successful show.

Don't miss their next production in the spring - 'The Militants' by Norman Holland, a challenging play with a large cast about the Suffragette movement. Note the dates now - 24 and 25 April and 2 and 3 May 2014.

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