Show was a triumph for Seaton

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 February 2017

Helga Willie Burgomeister and Helga. Picture: Contributed

Helga Willie Burgomeister and Helga. Picture: Contributed


The Pied Piper was performed at Seaton Gateway earlier this month. Here, director Mary Bowles reflects on the production.

Pippin Cullen and the Children of HamlinPippin Cullen and the Children of Hamlin

Being the first production of the new Seaton Gateway panto, part of The Gateway Theatre Company’s Youth Performing Arts projects, as trustee as well as director, I wanted it to be extra special and I was not disappointed! In fact, to quote audience comments I have received, ‘it was spectacular’.

The Pied Piper story enabled lots of youngsters to take part playing the rats and village children. Our group of 20, aged six to twelve, were excellent, delivering words clearly, singing heartily and acting both evil and good perfectly. They were a joy to work with and to watch those new to the stage gaining confidence and getting acclaim for their performance is my biggest thrill.

Seaton by the Sea. Picture: ContributedSeaton by the Sea. Picture: Contributed

We also had ‘under eighteens’ in the principal parts of Fairy Strudel, Heidi, Hans, Ratworst, Willie and as principal dancers and chorus.

All gave very convincing performances, but I must give special mention of Robbie Usher, who, aged just 15, commanded the stage like a professional as Willie; the audience were putty in his hands!

More senior members, as usual, gave amazing support to the youngsters and the show, sharing their experienced knowledge with those adults who joined us this year.

Newcomers Kevin Davis and Mark Ellynn proved to be natural performers and a real asset to our cast.

Panto is a wonderful way to learn stage craft, having all elements needed - drama, comedy and musical. Our great team of volunteers beaver away in the background creating musical accompaniment, costumes, make-up, staging, props, lighting and sound effects. Show week stage crew, dressing room aides and front of house attend. Each valuable contribution key to a successful show. This year’s triumph on stage and a fundraiser for the building, is down to all involved!

Be proud, very proud; I am.

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