This year’s pantomime, performed by Woodcote’s very own Amdram society, was loosely based on the story of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, written by Alan Frayn.
The tale followed the journey of a young girl called Gerda (played by Tori van Heerden), from Denmark, as she endeavoured to save her best friend Kai (Katie McDowell) from the Snow Queen’s icy clutches. With the support of her Granny Fanny Annie (Nick Evans) and her cousin Helmet (James Mathers); not to mention the united sisters of the seasons: Spring, Summer and Autumn (played by Kathy Laughton, Gloria McAdden and Marian Piggott) Gerda succeeded in defeating the wicked Snow Queen (Marcia Spiers) and bringing her best friend home.
With a beautiful set design, colourful costumes and all the usual bad jokes and slapstick comedy, this production had everything you’d expect from a WADS panto. However, this classic story was combined with many surprising twists including hippies, talking flowers, a reindeer (you could tell by the antlers!) and robbers, which captured the audience’s attention, both children and adults alike.
Both the junior and older chorus members brought energy to the stage, with plenty of song and dance including rapping (Ice Ice Baby!), shining in the spotlights as this well-loved fairy tale was brought to life. The audience responded enthusiastically and really got involved (perhaps a bit more than they were expecting!) in helping the cast to show off a strong performance. (It was rav’en mad!)
As always, these performances cannot be complete without all the backstage crew, lighting and sound. The music, ably played by Carole Wylie and Bill Smith, as directed by Kathy Laughton presented a mix of old and new tunes that the audience could all sing along with.
Hats off to Sandra Evans and Peter Saunders, the producers, for a fantastic production and a true success. I think the public cannot wait until next year! (Oh no we can’t!)
The next production by WADS will take place in May, watch this space…
By Chloe Macdonald-Spiers