Review: This Years ‘Alternative’ Panto Proves A Cracking Night Out

Theatre at the Town Hall, St Mary’s

Suzanne McCulloch reviews this year’s St Mary’s Theatre Club pantomime ‘On the Fiddle’ written by Steve Sims and directed by Kevin Leeman.

This year’s annual offering of the St Mary’s Theatre Club panto was to be a little different from those in the past.

An original work, written by Steve Sims and produced by Kevin Leeman, ‘On the Fiddle’ is a combination of both traditional panto fare and contemporary influences, with something for everyone.

The flow of the production held together well with star performances throughout. Local bobby Matt Collier, was a real crowd pleaser as the widow Desiree Twanky and David Chodiewicz was superb as animal-loving, bloodsucking Count Black pudding – the villain everyone loved to hate.

Lovely long-haired leading lady Zoe Hitchens played Griselda Twanky and her thigh slapping principal boy Prince Hector was played by Sarah Phillips. But I think our favourites were the not-traditionally-found-in-panto zombies.

The deadpan, undead henchfolk terrorised our heroes, but still managed to entertain us with their Thriller moves and elicit our sympathy when we learned the tragic way they’d all met their miserable ends in life.

Well known songs were woven into the storyline, as were many local jokes and references. Keeping it bang up to date, one notable highlight was when the entire cast performed ‘Gangnam’ style.

There were plenty of laughs and opportunities for audience participation too and no panto on Scilly is complete without the handing out of sweets partway through.

At the heart of the tale, and the key to the final triumph of good over evil, is of course the fiddle of the title. Sue Sedon, plastered in green glitter, played the pointy-eared dwarf with an unpronounceable name who had the power to force anyone in earshot to dance to her tune as long as the fiddle plays. Armed with little more than earplugs, our hero is immune to the enchantment, able to grab the magic fiddle and soon has everyone well on the way to the ‘happily ever after.’

All in all it was a cracking night out. And what a wealth of talent we have here!

Every detail, including the set design, the costumes, the makeup and all those invisible efforts that go on behind the scenes were first class. It certainly seemed that the cast were enjoying the production as much as we, the audience.

Big ‘well done’s’ all round!