The Clatford Amateur Dramatic Society put on a perforance of Pirates at the Village Club in Goodworth Clatford.
I am grateful to Jackie Grey for the following review; and to CADS for the impromptu jokes at the expense of the Government Chief Whip at the Saturday performance. As always, it was marvellous entertainment and it was to good to hear that all three nights were sold out.
Prince Charming and Cinderella’s luxury honeymoon cruise aboard the Costa Lotta, is abruptly interrupted by an invasion of sword-wielding pirates led by serial bigamist Bluebeard, Cliff Tucker. They kidnap Prince Charming, Mike Goddard, and throw him into the sea so their leader can claim another bride.
Poor Cinders! But worse is to come as Lynn Brown discovers from Bluebeard’s sidekick Pirate Pat, Sharon Colpman, that marriage to the bloodthirsty buccaneer lasts for just one night and a day then she too will be forced to walked the plank. What shall she do? Can Widow Twanky come up with a life-saving plan? Probably not but she, played by Bob Houghton, does provide a few large belly laughs.
Surviving a swim through shark-infested waters Prince Charming reaches land and informs his mother, the Wicked Queen (Margaret Scard) and her Number One (Geoff Scard) of the princess’s plight. Reluctantly they call on the Big Bad Wolf (Wolfie), Nick Bull, and Red Riding Hood, Marilyn Hillier, to go to her rescue, ably assisted by that devious double-crosser Goldie Locks, Anne Blake. They infiltrate the pirates at the tavern run by innkeeper David Grey and find their way back to the Black Lobster as the cruise ship has been renamed.
This swashbuckling script, written by Sharon Hulm and directed by Alan Willens, amusingly packs in all the fairytale favourites into a fanciful adventure on the high seas at the Goodworth Clatford village club. Audiences on three nights were encouraged to heckle and holler in true panto style.
Back on the Black Lobster the rats below deck, played enthusiastically by Dave Painter, Peter Smith and Graham Oxtoby, are not happy about what’s going on and hatch their own plan to free the captives with help from the ship’s cat, Ann Buckley.
Widow Twanky is persuaded to take Cinderella’s place at the wedding while the princess is rowed to safety. Promises of an escape for Twanky too fail to settle the dame’s nerves as she faces her betrothed before kindly priest Peter Bray.
Plunged into a deep sleep by a doped drink Bluebeard fails to bed his bride and by the time he wakes he finds she has fled. Furious he leads the hunt to find them straight to the throne room of the Wicked Queen where Cinders has been reunited with Prince Charming. There the pirates – Marlene Saunders, Velma Oxtoby, Alwyn Tucker and Jean Williams – turn out to be Bluebeard’s previous conquests, along with Pirate Pat (except for Ron, played by David Benwell)!
The Wicked Queen feigns a headache as the plot unfolds with long lost children, resurrected wives, humans dressed as animals, women dressed as men and, more than likely, men dressed as women. Bluebeard is held under guard by Sally Struthers and Jean Williams, as the Wicked Queen condemns him to return to his own ship and sail the seven seas for eternity under the supervision of his ex-wives and the new captain Pirate Pat.
It’s a fairytale ending as Red rides off into the sunset with vegetarian Wolfie insisting he keeps his tail!
Many thanks as always to those who work tirelessly behind the scenes like Chris Upchurch, Janet Smith, Kim Mawby, Annie Willens, Sue Risdale, Jean Bray and Roy Struthers, the front of house team, and the happy band of caterers without whose help and support these entertaining evenings would not be possible.
All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the Andover Hospital League of Friends in memory of Jean Blacklaws who was an active supporter of their work and a faithful friend of CADS.