REVIEW: Colourful, high-energy panto fun from the Ewhurst Players

From left: Sophie Shickell as Ali Baba and Daniel Williams as Asbad
From left: Sophie Shickell as Ali Baba and Daniel Williams as Asbad

Just when we thought the fun and festivities were all over for another year, the Ewhurst Players’ production of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves entertained enthusiastic audiences at the Ewhurst village hall in late January and early February.

Director Marian Heathcote used an Alan Frayn adaptation of what was originally a rather bloodthirsty tale to transport her audiences to a pantomime version of Old Baghdad.

The beautifully painted sets, colourful costumes, lively music and energetic cast gave us a feast of comedic talent.

From the opening number when the whole cast sang “take the panto express; if your life is in a mess we will make you smile”, it was a rip-roaring evening of fun and frolics.

The audience shouted to galvanise the goodies, booed the baddies and groaned at the gags.

The dame strutted his stuff and sang (somewhat unconvincingly) “I’m a lady!”

Mustafa-screw-loose proudly informed us he’d done a jigsaw in a mere three months when the box said “3 to 5 years”.

A stage full of man-size oil jars hid the thieves who sang “we’re very good at being bad”, Camelia the camel tracked down her beloved Ali Baba, and the princess and the slave girl both ended up ‘happily ever after’ at the wedding feast finale.

As it all came to an end, the cast sang “be our guest; a banquet here is never second best”.

That couldn’t be more true of a Ewhurst Players panto.

See you all next year!

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