Once more our annual pantomime is behind us!! What a challenge we faced. COVID-19 played its part by ensuring we had to cancel January 2022 and decide when we could possibly hold our panto. The committee decided that March would be a good time. Everyone is over Christmas, Easter is still a way off, why not rejunivate everyone with some fun and laughter in March.
This move of course posed some challenges regarding the original cast, as some were not available for the March dates. With a little bit of shuffling here and there a full cast was made up and rehearsals resumed.
Would people still come we wondered, but, we need not have worried because as usual Chinnor turned out in force to support us. Something we are truly grateful for.
Our new director, Anne Davies did us proud as did all back stage and front of house volunteers.
So the cast was ready, the hall waiting for the audiences to take their seats, and it was curtain up for the 6 performances of Alice in Wonderland.
Chinnor Players certainly rose to the challenge so here is to the next time January 2023
Well it's over! Chinnor Players annual pantomime for 2018, Beauty & the Beast
Firstly thank you to our audiences, as always you make the Chinnor Players panto so enjoyable with your enthusiasm.
We started rehearsals in November with a short break over Christmas, struggled a bit during rehearsal time with illness, work commitments and a broken wrist! Rehearsals Mondays and Thursday for the cast and Monday's for the junior and senior chorus, all coming together with our fantastic band for 3 Sunday rehearsals.
On Friday 19 January at 6pm the stage extension was erected and our 2 new back drops had the background painted. Saturday morning 7am stage cloth down, green curtains up and stage skirt on. Our super artist arrived to do his magic, aided by some other capable people. More painting then on the scenery with more artwork. Once dry repeating on the other side of the flats. By 4.30pm Sunday afternoon we had just about finished.
Afternoon rehearsal done and some clearing up. 7pm technical rehearsal, going through sound effects and lighting until 10pm but some stayed until midnight finishing off. During Monday and Tuesday more
artwork to finish off.
Monday evening dress rehearsal.
Tuesday cleaning the floor then putting out all the chairs. Front of house also set up.
Wednesday first night. Compost corner were in the audience, they always come on the first night, very exciting and well received.
Thursday also went very well.
Friday we had a full house, and as always the Brownies were in great form and egged on the cast with their cheering and booing. A small hitch with no seats for some, we found out later that another hirer had taken chairs but not put them back! But all sorted for Saturday.
Saturday 11am was the first performance of
the day with a lovely audience, although a couple of children were frightened by the witch and the Beast. Just less than an hour and back on for the 3pm show. Full house again with the Beavers, as with the Brownies great enthusiasm. Once again clear up and
back on for the final show at 8pm. Almost full house and once again the cast put on a fabulous entertaining show.
From our younger chorus, newcomers Karen Laws and Michael Oatway and the rest of the cast we all thank you for your continued support. One comment from an audience member, " I've lived in Chinnor all my life, never been to one of your pantos before but will come every year now!"
So on behalf of all of us thank you. As a director you always
worry that things will go well and the audience love the casting, difficult choices sometimes. So thank you so much cast and all back stage crew. It was my granddaughter, Emily's first try at co directing I have to say I'm very proud of her.
See you next time!
We do get some reviews you know, good or bad
So without boring you, or blowing our own trumpets we decided to share some of them with you.
A review of the Chinnor Player’s production of Cheshire Cats – A Play by Gail Young
The Chinnor Players production of Cheshire Cats, directed by Rose Weakley, drew in sizeable audiences on each of the three nights it was performed and captured both the humorous and serious elements of this play well.
The play combined comedy and poignancy, laughter and tears, and all the cast took on their characters whole heartedly. Alongside the teamwork, humour, bickering and romance, the characters also let the audience glimpse their inner thoughts, turmoil and struggles as they delivered their individual monologues; the final monologue of the play, delivered by Maggie, moving many within the audience to tears.
The set was kept plain and neutral, with just the addition of a few props to accentuate the changing locations, and this worked well. The ‘Cats’ sported decorated bras for their walk, with the only male member of the ‘Cats’ outfit looking particularly fetching!
Alongside the cast and director, there were many other people involved in putting this production on. I won’t mention anyone by name for fear of leaving someone out but, needless to say, without the hard work that went into helping backstage, front of house, carrying out set build, preparing and working the lighting and sound, publicising the production, providing charity advice, prompting and any other job which I may not have mentioned, the play would not have been as successful as it was.
Overall an entertaining, funny, and moving play. Well done to all involved!