DRYBURN THEATRICAL WORKSHOP

EST. 1978

ROBINSON CRUSOE & THE CARIBBEAN PIRATES REVIEWS

NODA REPORT

There is no doubt that the standards of pantomimes have developed over the past couple of years, and Dryburn Theatrical Workshop’s interpretation of Tom Whalley’s ‘Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates’ was no exception.  As the curtains opened it was apparent that the audience were in for a truly entertaining evening. Under the professional direction of Michelle Coulson the cast appeared to be relaxed and well prepared to deliver this brilliant script, packed with quality pantomime gags, complemented beautifully by some excellent choreographed pieces of movement and dance arranged by Helen Wilson. The many well-chosen vocal numbers arranged, musically directed and accompanied by Brian Pennick at the piano. The stage looked fantastic with its very colourful back cloths, and technically the sound system and lighting were very good. The costumes were vibrant, and I loved the finale costumes which looked fantastic.

The pantomime was well cast and opened with Phil Martin as the sinister Blacktashe the Pirate who set the scene. His partner in crime was Gary Eglinton, as Winkle the Henchman, and there was great chemistry between these two actors. A polished performance was given by Emma Scott as Robinson Crusoe, the thigh-slapping hero, with excellent characterisation and delivery of her musical numbers. Her brother, Sprat, was played by Joe Coulson.  I particularly enjoyed the Desert Island Discs scene which was well delivered and presented.  Their father, Captain Crusoe, was played by Adam Donald with good stage presence. The Dame, in the guise of Dame Crystal Crusoe, was brilliantly played by Malcolm Quinn, beautifully dressed throughout the show, and probably one of the best dames I have seen this season, who involved the audience whenever he appeared on stage. I loved the character, well done Malcolm. Alan Oliver and Libby Kennedy played Peter Perkins and his daughter Polly Perkins, with good stage presence and good characterisation. Charlotte Siddoway, as Girl Friday, had a strong presence.  I loved the opening of the second half set on the desert Island with full chorus performing “Footloose”. There was a great underwater scene with Pinchy Stryder, the crab, played by Alex Smith, with the illuminated fish show, and he delivered his song well. The star of the show for me was the Magical Mermaid played by Lucy McCabe, who had great stage presence and delivered her musical numbers well. I particularly liked “Somebody to Love” and the duets with Emma Scott singing from 'For Good' from Wicked beautifully.

Special mention to cast who were in cameo roles, the Butcher, Baker and the Candlestick Maker played by Mandy Kennedy, Karen Scott and Annette Morris, the Town Crier played by Jason Pickford, Cockles and Mussels, played by Alex Gibbs and Alex Smith. Special mention for the dancers, Isha Dubre, Lisa Settrey, Sarah Hutchinson, Rebecca Scott and Rhiann Quinn, and the Chorus, including Nicole Blair, Daniel Nelson, Abigail Jones and Kaitlyn Taylor.

Well done everyone at Dryburn Theatrical Workshop. All in all Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates was a well-received pantomime and a very pleasant evening was had by all.

Author: Peter Oliver

AUDIENCE COMMENTS

“A huge 'Well done!' For a great opening night. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope you have a really successful run this week me hearties!!! Xxx"

"Wow what another brilliant show with amazing actors well done to you all I loved it.. loved the mermaid great singing voice .. look forward to your next show...."

"Thoroughly enjoyed the show tonight, well done everyone. A big well done to my daughter Abigail Jones you were fab Xxx"

"Another gr8 performance by all! Big up to my dad Malcolm for another entertaining performance & Rhiann for more excellent dancing. Also to Lucy the mermaid....what an amazing voice!!"

"Massive well done to everyone involved in Robinson Crusoe. Really enjoyed the show - even if I had to listen to Tom Whalley laughing at all of his own jokes - haha!!! Best of Luck for the rest of the week. xx"

"Fantastic show tonight guys  didn't stop laughing or crying"

"Eee fabulous again well done to all on and off stage lots of hard work has paid off ... See you tomorrow again for the last show"

"It is always an absolute pleasure to see you all with last night being no exception so thank you. For years I have admired the chemistry, warmth and camaraderie of DTW. This is abundant onstage and off and what makes the group so uniquely special and truly a pleasure to watch and write for. People often say "we hope we've done the script justice" but for me it's the opposite; whether I've done your time, talents and passion justice. I remain hopeful! I hope everyone has a wonderful Panto week and I'm already looking forward to seeing you again hopefully in the not too distant future."

"Absolutely brilliant performance. First time we have been to one of your shows but will definitely be back for more ... we can't believe we've been missing such brilliant shows. Looking forward to the summer show now."