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Village Pantomime 2009

Click here for Norwich Evening News coverage

Forty years of tradition in Hethersett was celebrated with this year’s pantomime Aladdin and his Wonderful Ruby Lamp. 

Over the years the village has seen traditional pantomimes given unusual twists like Red Riding Hood set in Holland, Sleeping Beauty set in Scotland or Dick Whittington set on a desert island. 

So it came as no surprise this year to find the action of Aladdin taking place on the Great Wall of China and outside a Dublin pub, amongst a number of other places. 

This transportation of the imagination is down to three factors – the skill of the entire group both on and off stage, the imagination of producer and writer Duncan Pigg and the wonderful backdrops and scenery of set designer Colin Wilson and his team. 

After 40 years of panto involvement Duncan Pigg has decided to hang up his pen: “The Ruby Anniversary of the pantomime seems to be a good point for me as producer and scriptwriter to retire. It’s been a wonderful 40 years from the small beginnings to the present shows with large casts, orchestra, stage and musical directors, set designers, back stage crews, front of house and many more. Many have become my firm friends and I can never thank them enough for all the support they have given me,” he said, adding that he hoped to continue his association with the group in some capacity. 

Despite the unusual settings, Duncan provided a traditional script interspersed with excellent Irish and can can dance routines, beautifully choreographed by Andrea Farrow and Katherine Rowe. The main characters were played by a number of “Hethersett panto veterans” with Barry Foster as cheeky as ever as Widow Twankey, Neville Greenhalgh as polished as ever as Wishy Washy, Bonnie Wood as sparkling as ever as Princess Rose Blossom and Lloyd Parfitt as debonair as ever in the lead role. 

They were well backed up by Steve Bussey as the nasty Ebenezer, Lauren Cooke as the good fairy and a large cast of other colourful and talented performers. 

Whatever role Duncan Pigg takes in future productions he and the pantomime group have managed to make the annual show a major part of the village calendar. 

Last year’s production of Mother Goose raised over £5,500 for local charities. This year’s retiring “bucket collection” was in aid of the Priscilla Bacon Lodge Support Group.

Cast

Aladdin Lloyd Parfitt
Wishy-Washy Neville Greenhalgh
Widow Twankey Barry Foster
Princess Rose Blossom Bonnie Wood
Mi-so Emma Jermy
Yu-so Ellie Jermy
Ebenezer Steve Bussey
Good Fairy Lauren Cooke
Genie of the Ruby Lamp Vicki Gale
Emperor of China Lewis Cook
Empress of China Rachel Woodier
So-So (Factory superviser) Becky Sprunt
Chinese Policeman Devon Boyd
Jonny Ball
Landlord of Pub Josh Hamer
Monsieur Pierre David Reynolds
Molloy Malone Andrea Farrow

Citizens, Factory Workers, Policemen, Courtiers. Dancers, Warriors, Drunks etc - Barbara Powell, Becca Jermy, Caroline Reynolds, Chloe Spinks, Ellie Boyd, June Bulcock, Kate Rowe, Naomi Larner, Sandra Butler, Sarah Wyatt, Sarah Wright, Tina Greenhalgh, Barry Butler, Daniel Orford, Joe Larkowsky, Jono Angelo, Matt Molloy, Thomas Wyatt, Peter Emery, Simon Larkowsky, Bethany Tuckwood, Caroline Lovick, Elena Wyatt, Emma Larkowsky, Kirsti Orford, Lily Bussey, Rebekah Larner, Sophie Cooke, Victoria Woodier, Abbey Waller, Caitlin Lovick.

Script writer and producer Duncan Pigg
Director Sarah Wright
Musical Director Tony Press
Choreography Andrea Farrow and Katherine Rowe
Stage Manager Malcolm Goldspink
Set Design Colin Wilson
Set Paiting Colin Wilson, Bob Fell, Irene Dack
Wardrobe Angela Jermy, Kim Spinks and team
Construction of sets and props Linda and Malcolm Goldspink, rene and David Dack, Phil Emery, Paul Baxter, Bob Fell
Technical Manager Chris Thrower
Stage Electrician David Dack
Sound Jonathan Thrower
Lighting Jonathan and Chris Thrower, David Johnson
Prompt Judith Press
Make-up Julie Cooke and helpers
Backstage Paul Baxter, Chris Goldspink, Phil Emery, Bob Fell
Production Assistant Jenny Pigg
Business Manager Francis Trappes-Lomax
Box Office Jean Neal and Marie Stevenson
Front of House David and Jean Neal and helpers.
Musical Director Tony Press

The Band

Musical Director/Keyboards/Guitar Tony Press
Piano Roger Noble
Clarinet/Sax Rachel Mallett
Violin Ceri Peterson
Cello Francis Trappes-Lomax
Guitar John Head and Ross Anderson
Percussion Simon McDougall