Panto’s a real show-stopper

Andrew Shields comes up trumps as Jack McTrott and has audiences in the palm of his hand throughout
Andrew Shields comes up trumps as Jack McTrott and has audiences in the palm of his hand throughout

LAUGHTER has been filling the air at the town hall this week. There has also been cheers, boos and hisses, singing, dancing, great applause and much much more. The world of pantomime and all the wonderful colour and excitement that it brings has been in town.

Hawick Pantomime Group has indeed been delighting audiences with its presentation of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Rosie Moyes grabs the spotlight as Princess Treat

Rosie Moyes grabs the spotlight as Princess Treat

Set in Teriland (what a great name for a place), the show is traditional panto at its best. A hero, a princess, an exuberant dame, a villain, a humorous buffoon, a fairy to put matters into rights, a set of superb characters, and even a lovable panto animal. The production has it all.

Jack and the Beanstalk also has loads of audience participation, with several scenes seeing members of the cast off the stage and into the hall itself, which delights the youngsters taking in the show.

There is impressive special effects and scenery as well.

Producer Lisa Scott can be well pleased with the show as things have sparkled under her positive direction.

Top marks, too, for choreographer Claire Inglis as the dance numbers are dazzling and very well performed.

Drew ‘Mr Piano’ Gibb also plays his part by hitting the high notes as musical director.

Besides all this the show is packed with great singing from an excellent chorus, very good acting, and also has a witty and funny script with containts loads of quickfire jokes.

There is also a special feature, just before the interval comes to a close, with a scintillating dance routine from the Shields Performing Arts Academy.

As kilted Scottish hero Jack McTrott, Andrew Shields gets it just right. He fits into the role well, has the audience on his side from the start, and is the perfect good guy throughout his performance.

Rosie Moyes is also a delight as Princess Treat. An up-and-coming young peformer, she shows great stage presence and really shines.

In the storyline, Jack and Princess Treat fall in love and end up getting married, so you couldn’t ask for any more than that.

Panto regular Mike Webber is once again excellent as the dame. Playing Jack’s mother Jessie McTrott, Mike is loud, boisterous and completely over the top – just what a good dame should be. His performance is highlighted when he appears dressed in a ‘Wonder Woman’ costume for a hilarious fight scene.

Apart from looking the part, Cammy Renwick has been acting the part in being absolutely brilliant as baddie Fleshcreep. Cammy really gets the young audience going with his evil antics. And from his voice to his gestures in his all-black attire, he raises boos with his every appearance.

He took his life in his hands, though, when during the Hawick News visit to the show on Tuesday evening he ventured into a row of Boys’ Brigade members. Cammy eventually managing to emerge unscathed!

In past shows Graham Ford has starred in dimwitted character roles. And he does it all again as Silly Billy. Through a spot-on performance, Graham certainly lives up to his part and conjures up great laughter and amusement in the process.

Shona McLaren is magical as Fairy Frankie, while Alison Elliot (Clarence Clanger), Gerry Monaghan (King Sotel), Margaret Moyes (Corporal Span), Gordon Adams (Sergeant Spick) and Hannah Adams (Mrs Blunderbore), are all terrific as well.

Although their faces are never seen, Ali Hill and Kathy Flynn deserve great recognition as Buttercup the Cow, as does Stuart Moyes for the voice of Giant Blunderbore.