Galleon produced a bit of Xmas fare in the shape of a Panto titled “hans The Witch And The Gobbin”. Having not been made familiar with Gobbins in my tender years, I thought I’d best have a look at this one, if only for my own education. It turns out that a Gobbin is really only a goblin who makes up for a distinct lack of intelligence with a somewhat noticeable increase in stature, as goblins go. At least that’s how the script explains it.
Anyway, it was a fun bit of nonsense that the kids seemed to enjoy and I guess that’s what Xmas Pantos are all about. As the title suggests, there is a Hans, the handsome medical student destined to become a consort to the princess. The witch, a magnificently ugly creature who had me convinced she could kick start a broom at a moments notice. Then of course The Gobbin, looking something like an escapee from a Star Wars movie. There is also the aforementioned princess, her dad The King plus his very fast talking secretary (literally) Scratch, a Dowser (to give the story a bit of balancing white magic), a Swineherd with a couple of tiny magic pigs, who nearly steal the show, and a Queen of the Forest who has an unpleasant penchant for turning people into stone. Sprinkled amongst all this are a few odd characters just to add to the colour of the whole thing.
The storyline centres around our witch who makes a hobby out of collecting peoples memories and storing them in little glass bottles, just for gloating purposes. The princess is the initial victim and the tale follows the efforts to find and restore this precious posession. It is needless to say much adventure and misadventure ensues because witches never give up their posessions very easily, as I well know being in to heavy panto for many years, but in true panto style, good eventually out-magics the old crone and they all live happily ever after with the villain of the piece heading off to turn her cottage into a tearoom.
Without a doubt it was not the best Panto production I have seen and I could find a lot of pan however, a number of the characters were very strongly portrayed and certainly helped to make up for a lot of the shortcomings. Besides, it was Xmas. I just loved the Swineherd and her (I think she was supposed to be a he) little pigs, great Panto stuff.
The settings, lighting etc. were fairly basic but no doubt a bit was lost because of the surplus daylight that floods the Galleon hall with day-light saving and a 7.00pm start.
My compliments must go to this group though for the standard of the make-up, it was very professional and all players really looked the part and looking the part, Iam sure, always helps one to act it.
Pantomimes are a lot of work but can be a lot of fun. Many groups don’t bother, they should, because they are great practise for the most important people in any amateur company, the people backstage. They stimulate the imagination and provide a lot of interesting work.
No Galleon, not the best I’ve seen, but not anywhere near the worst and I certainly didn’t hear any complaints from the audience, in fact they were quite a few compliments flowing.
I like the idea of the cast mingling in the foyer after the show too, that’s a real thrill for the little kids….. Us big kids like it too.
A very happy 1987 to you all, I hope to see many of you under lights.
NONSINSI – CAL