Hills Youth Theatre have not only survived Covid but have proved a formidable force in youth theatre with a cast of sixty enthusiastic young people. Their latest production of Rapunzel the Tower-rific Pantomime was premiered to a full house that reacted in true pantomime fervour. The script by local author Ben Proeve has included everything that would be expected in such a show plus some extras which need to be seen. Ben also assisted the Director Di Mason. Di somehow managed to get the large cast to perform admirably despite the many obstacles that were thrown upon her.
The play opened with the Narrator Lucy Thompson setting the scene with her very pleasant and clear voice followed by Nigel played by Lazuli Chittleborough and Mary Marmalade played by Toby Vincent who both engaged the audience with explanations in true pantomime fashion. These two performers were outstanding throughout the entire play with their comedic actions.
The hisses and boos were saved for Villaina played by Demelza Metha who revelled in the role of the bad villain. Her stage presence was a feature. Rapunzel portrayed by Sasha Todorashko and Prince Percival played by April Stevens complemented each other while also performing the musical numbers.
It is difficult to detail all the actors with such a large cast but special mention must go to Danny the Donkey’s Lucy Williams and Madeleine Dandy.
There were some moments when the play slowed a little such as when the Knock – Knock jokes were performed and the voices at times were hard to understand. It however immediately came back to life with the chorus in full voice with ‘Absolutely Everybody’ sung with gusto.
The start of the second act seemed a little out of character for the play with flappers dancing and actors in more modern dress but everything fell into place when Villaina appeared in Big Tony’s Tavern.
The large production team did an enormous job with the sets, lighting, sound and props. The costumes for so many performers were striking with so many that just kept coming, one can only imagine the scenes in the dressing rooms.
There were moments of choreography throughout the play that catered not only for dancing but also some movements that were well timed and performed. There is no mention of a choreographer in the program but congratulations to all who assisted with this important input. A lot of names are listed in the program and no doubt many parents also gave assistance in one form or another.
If you enjoy a panto and getting involved as part of the audience then you will enjoy this performance.
We look forward to HYT’s future productions and will follow the career of Ben Proeve with interest.