Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Denton Village News

Sleeping Beauties

A review by our theatre correspondent – Oldstager.

The annual Denton panto is, for me, one of the year’s highlights of entertainment. It invariably succeeds because, I think, it embraces the word “amateur” in its purest meaning. Latin experts may correct me, but I take the meaning of the word “amateur” to be “one who loves”. Our village panto is always written, constructed, performed and supported by people who seem to “love” what they are doing. Long may it remain so, for we, the villagers would be the poorer without this home-grown treasure.

The traditional fairy-tale of The Sleeping Beauty is well enough known for me not to repeat it, but in Dentonia, the kingdom in which it was set, we were offered extra layers and depths of story that kept us all intrigued. Not one, but three beauties; flash-forwards and flash-backs in time; even a revelation at the end that one of the characters was a princely descendant. Maybe he should have logged on to the Ancestry site a bit earlier!!

It was good to see some of the dependable characteristics of the performers being integrated into the show to enrich our delight, but I wouldn’t mind betting that some of the cast (the young ones in particular) have more to offer and to give, and I hope that some of them might want to build on this year’s achievements in next year’s panto. Learn the lines early, be comfortable about who you are, what your character is all about (indeed — what the scene is all about) and then you will be able not only to contribute to the work but to help build it.

A few words of praise. First of all, to you ALL, for having the will and the courage to stand up before us and to perform, to present to us an entertainment which lightens and enlightens our lives. It is an act of giving and we, the audience, applaud you for it and are thankful to receive it.

Next, to Gill who appears to have dreamed-up so much and to have fleshed-out the story; to all who created the colour behind the curtains — the sets and the costumes and the lights, which transported us to a new world, Dentonia behind the curtain of Denton. A special word of praise to, not one, but TWO musicians, Simon and Ken, who provided the bedrock of music for all the cast to build upon and sing so lustily.

In Repertory companies it used to be a nightly occurence for an audience to applaud the first entrance of their favourite actor within the regular company, and this, too, could happen in the West End with some stars, so it was with great pleasure that I noted on the Friday night (when I attended) that Terry received a similar accolade.

Mike Fitzgerald showed us a side to his character, which included at the curtain call a glimpse of long knickers (passion-killers I would have thought, Mike) and which proved highly entertaining, but be careful, Mike — it could be habit-forming and you might have to go into detox.

I must mention that the front of the programme stated that the production was dedicated to the memory of Roger Dove. A laudable sentiment in itself, but also highly laudable was the firm, assured and entertaining performance by Kathryn Dove as Clippy. Well done, Kathryn.

Well done, DVC.

The programme can be viewed on a DVC Page.

View other news from February 2010 or view all news from 2010