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The Sleeping Beauty pantomime 2014
16th to 18th January 2014 at the Carnegie Room, Thetford
'The Sleeping Beauty' was the fourth pantomime produced by the Thetford Players and was directed by Caroline Foot with assistance from Rashaan Weed; both members of the Players. The script, which won the 'Best Panto of 2012' award by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA), was written professionally by Ben Crocker and was very well received by the audience who enjoyed laughs, slapstick, song and dance on a journey through 118 years, meeting Queen Dottie, Kitty the cat and King Norbert along with the Royal butlers, Billy and Jilly. Despite Carabosse and Spindleshanks' best efforts to thwart Aurora's future with their wicked spinning wheel curse, the lovely Princess Aurora, with help from the fairies, met her Prince.
There were unexpected twists throughout, including a 'Thriller-style' zombie scene which saw much interaction with the audience! Make up (provided by the Stepping Stones Training Academy, Thetford), hair (Techniques Hairdressers, Thetford) and costumes (Thetford Players' Wardrobe Mistress, June Lewis) were as spectacular as ever, something the Players pride themselves on. By the end of this classic fairytale, the village of Woollycombe saw the return of its spinning wheels much to the relief and delight of its local town folk who went on to celebrate a Royal wedding!
A live band featured at all four sell-out performances plus, on opening night, a British Sign Language Interpreter for the Deaf attended thanks to funding received from the Lovewell Blake Fund via the Norfolk Community Foundation. This was the first time at panto that the Thetford Players had performed to live music and had an interpreter; it is hoped that this will now set a precedent for the Players' future annual pantomimes.
'Backstage at the Proms', 21st September 2013
'Backstage at the Proms' at the Carnegie Room opened with the Players performing a range of favourite songs from past productions over the last three years, all specially re-worked and each imaginatively introduced by way of a reminiscence by cast members as they delved through boxes of past costumes and props, reminding the audience which production each song featured in. Songs included 'You Can't Stop the Beat', 'We Go Together', 'One Day More', 'Reach', an Oliver Medley and of course the Players anthem – 'Don't Stop Believing'.
After the interval the South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band (SNYSB) performed a number of tunes including a Glenn Miller swing medley, music from the Harry Potter movies and 'The Great Escape' march. SNYSB were then joined by the Thetford Players as the Carnegie Room became awash with red, white and blue from a very responsive audience waving Union flags and singing along patriotically to traditional Proms songs, including 'Land of Hope & Glory', 'Jerusalem', 'My Bonnie' and the National Anthem.
The evening was every bit as spectacular as promised and was the first production in which the Thetford Players sang with a live band, showcasing the talent of the group as it continues to grow from strength-to-strength.
Midsummer Madness, July 2013
27th July – Riversdale Centre gardens
28th July – Kilverstone Estate grounds
The Thetford Players Midsummer Madness weekend production took place outdoors amidst the beautiful summer sunshine and attractive gardens of the Riversdale Centre on the Saturday and on the Sunday in the gorgeous Kilverstone estate belonging to the affluent naval family, the Fisher family.
The audience laughed, gasped, clapped and cheered during the afternoon of entertainment which saw two one-act comedies performed by the Players to around 100 people. The plays, “Just the Two of Us” by Ros Moruzzi (directed by Teresa Wiffen and assisted by Jackson Toynbee) and “Easy Stages” by Nick Warburton (directed by Kate Jones with assistance from Jamie Jeremy Oliver), both set in the modern day, featured impressive sets and props to enhance each of the performances. “Just the Two of Us” explored the impact and repercussions of modern science in an explosive and hilarious way with one questioning who really was 18 year old Freya's mother, whilst “Easy Stages” saw the stage crew of an amateur dramatic society struggling to play their part in the group’s production of Hamlet, under Gerry, the frustrated and increasingly insane Stage Manager!
Both plays were performed by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, LTD.
During the interval the audience were treated to strawberries and cream and non-alcoholic ‘bubbly’ whilst “The Klicks” (a group recently formed by three members of the Thetford Players – Jen Davey, Tina Matthews and Tyler Curtis) sang popular songs from the 1930s to the present day, including a beautiful rendition of the Dean Martin and Helen O'Connell classic “How do you like your Eggs in the Morning?”
Musical Mania, April 2013
25th - 27th April at the Carnegie Room, Thetford
The Thetford Players recent production, “Musical Mania”, took place to a packed house on the evenings of Thursday 25th, Friday 26th and Saturday 27th April.
The enthusiastic audience were treated to a collection of 24 uplifting songs with inspirational meaning and dance sequences from musicals dating from the 1950’s through to the present day, with small scenes performed from some of the featured musicals. These were carefully selected by Director Mandy Davis and Assistant Director Amy Reader, both who had solo parts during the show.
There were solos performed for the first time by junior members Charlie Jeffries, James Barrow, George Davis, Lilly Connaughton and the youngest aged just 8 years old – Henry Bennett, who sang “Little People” from Les Miserables, whilst new member Amanda Frost sang “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked. Other songs were performed by established members, supported by a very committed and hard- working chorus, and included “One Day More (Les Miserables), “Bright New Day” (Blood Brothers), “I’m a Believer” (Shrek), “We Once Were Kings” (Billy Elliot), “It’s a Fine Life” (Oliver), “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (Lion King) and “I Whistle a Happy Tune” (The King and I), to name but a few.
The whole evening was compered by Thetford Players member Mark Jeffries.
The Thetford Players were the first community group to use the new rake (tiered) seating in the Carnegie Room, along with the sound and lighting systems recently installed by Thetford Town Council, adding to the professionalism and success of the show; further enhanced by the Players fantastic sets accompanying many of the songs.
Aladdin pantomime 2013
10th to 12th January 2013 at the Carnegie Room, Thetford
Aladdin marked the Thetford Players third pantomime, written and produced by former Players' Chairman Bob Waple (who also played the evil Abanazer) and directed by Jo Cooper and Jo van der Hulks.
The pantomime opened in Abanazer's sinister Egyptian lair with 'dear old uncle' Abanazer, Zelda and the Spirit of the Ring, progressing onto the hustle and bustle of Peking where Aladdin, son of the poor Widow Boudica Twanky, was joined by several Peking residents (the chorus), his brother Wishee Washee, the Pong Emperor and Empress and their three children (Sic Lee, Stin Key and the 'beautiful, gorgeous, deliciously aromatic' Princess Jasmine), the Vazir ('who was 'ere!'), Fab Reese, Rick Shaw ('looking fab in his cab'!), Ying and Tong, long-lost Frankie, a very vain often 'inconvenienced' Genie ….. and of course a lamp, a magic carpet, a Chinese Dragon and even a few Angry Birds!
Along with the expected cheesy jokes, sweet-throwing and audience participation, the pantomime witnessed the exhilarating 'Great Peking Race' …. and the employment of a new 'scrubber' in Twanky's Laundry ('ha ha ha ha ha ….. curses'!).
The action was enhanced with dance routines to several popular songs including Gold, Starmaker, Dance with me tonight, Reach (for the stars) and not forgetting the enchanting duet, A whole new world.
The pantomime was professionally recorded so if you missed out then why not order a copy on DVD? For further details please contact