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Camelot, The Panto by Graham Smith

posted 3 Feb 2012, 05:09 by Richard Holyoak
Camelot… The Panto
Wycliffe Drama Group
Wycliffe Drama Group’s latest pantomime is probably one of the most original and funny I’ve ever seen. I thought “Camelot…The Panto” would be just cashing in on the TV series “Merlin”, and my expectations were not high. I should have known better! Director Graham Smith wrote “Camelot”, only his second pantomime. His first, (Robin Hood), drew great acclaim, but this surpassed it, with 27 very distinctive characters, 6 dancers, a very witty script and unusual ideas. One of which was to have no traditional sets. Among the “film credits”, scrolling onto the end curtain, was “Sets …Sulking in a corner”! We never missed them. Instead they used effects such as shadows on a curtain, stage smoke that filled the auditorium like fog (causing much hilarity), and film. We loved the “X-Calibur” TV show.
Favourites were Russ Crooks as the delightful baddie, Black Wurst, and Gemma Hill as his hippy new age accomplice, Morgan le Fay. Merlin was a bearded Keith Parkin appearing through a storm like King Lear. Arthur was thigh slapping principal boy Becky Harwood and “Dame” Dickie Wood was “his” Mum. With such a huge cast aged from 7 to 70, all acting their socks off and having a brilliant time, how could the audience not love it? We did! The audience were the noisiest I’ve been among, I swear our seats rattled during the singalong!
Thank you Graham, Dawn Crooks (producer) and all at WDG. This was a panto to remember - and my sides still ache.
Vivien Window