First nights can be a bit hit or miss but Clarbeston Road Players new pantomime Pinocchio was a real joy.
Yes, there were some missed cues and an occasional hiccup but this troupe are old hands who work as a team and just keep coming at you with their fun and enthusiasm.
Testament to the unfailing good time that is always to be had, the companies loyal audience packed the Clarbeston Road Hall with only a few seats to spare and proceeded to be charmed by young Niko Solomon as Pinocchio, ably supported by Peter Lewis as Geppetto and Cheryl Rayner as Mam.
All old favourites are here, including Jiminy Cricket, (Ieuan Roberts, who despite suffering from a killer sore throat, gave us a lively performance as the little wooden boy’s conscience), guided by a kindly blue fairy, Sophie Edgerley.
Nick Wears as Stromboli and his hapless companion Linguini, Rob Owens provide the baddies in the lightest possible way with oodles of slapstick and audience participation. They are aided and abetted by company stalwarts and great all-rounders Annette Williams as Foxie Loxy and Kate Ashley as Catrina Cuddlepuss. Fabulous makeup and costumes ladies!
Dylan, ( Adam Edgerley), is a rapping, wandering, a wise-cracking buddy to lead the wooden boy astray and provide us with a moral lesson In loyalty and self-sacrifice, that pays off in the end. This is panto after all!
More sinister in the second half, whip masters Cynthia Jennings and a scarily unrecognisable Sarah Rosser provide a dire warning to kids who will not listen to their parents.
The chorus kept us charmed, the music delighted us and the special effects made us laugh with simple pleasure. There is plenty to keep everyone amused, from cheeky jokes with the odd innuendo for the grown-ups and lots of innocent fun for the kids.
And let’s not forget all the people behind the scenes from Directing to Music, to scenery and props and all the other jobs that make a show like this possible.
You can still catch the panto at Clarbeston Road Hall from 7.30 on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th ( Doors open at 7 p.m.)
There is a matinee on Sunday 1st at 2.30 ( Doors open at 2)
Tickets are £7 for adults and £4 for children.