Beauty and the Beast

Performance Review

This year's offering of Beauty and the Beast, admirably written and directed by Bob Taylor and performed at the Jubilee Hall,
Bierton on 28th-30th November, was well received by audiences hat were modest in numbers but high in discernment. A gradual build-up as the scene was set and characters introduced laid a solid foundation for later shenanigans!

Ann Pollard enacted perfectly a suitably ambivalent Windy Witch, nasty but wanting to be nice if only she could find the man of her dreams - Mr DIY! Some male members of the audience were seen skulking out of the hall in disgust at this point. The witch was forced to turn the principal boy Harry Daylightwind (Kathryn Richards) into a beast to satisfy her revenge on DIY-challenged men. Jade Chandler looked and played the part of Beauty - who falls for the cannibalistic beast - with confidence and skill, and both she and Kathryn sang well in their romantic duets.

The experience of Jan Tunley, Andy Capjon and Adrian Ripley as Flori Daylightwind, Stephen Merchant and Deidre Dunce respectively, proved its worth; in fact there a was a point when the plot almost became manifest to audience and cast alike...but not quite. Adrian did his panto dame stuff with great panache, drawing the audience in with ad libs and singing competitions. His rendering of Fagin's 'marriage song' (with witty new lyrics), the tune of which was borrowed from Oliver, was a highlight of the show.

Hannah Rogers and Bijal Tankodra were suitably selfish and petty in their roles of Beauty's jealous sisters. Ellie Still created a humorous impact as a notice-bearing Small Person, and Chris Davis lived up to his name as Barry Xylophone!

Deidre Dunce pipped the witch in the marriage stakes snatching DIY man, played with great conviction by Alf Rogers, from under her nose; Beauty and Harry (the Beast) Daylightwind (not Nightingale) married and lived happily ever after, and the Right Honourable Sir H S Tool (Gareth Barton) stomped off to continue his nefarious machinations to destroy beautiful Bucks by driving the HS2 railway line through Aylesbury market square.

Bob Taylor coordinated the set build and organisation of backstage duties, with a crew comprising Gareth Barton, Joseph Capjon, Andy Holmes, Chris Tyrrell and Ben Viney.

Paul Styles worked his usual magic on sound, and Spyke Stainton took care of lighting with the assistance of the John Haes.

Some lovely costumes were made by Gillian Liddell, a capable seamstress whom Adrian has introduced to the group, and Patti Reed together with Janet Davies made sure the various characters' make-up was right.

We are again grateful to our president June Bradshaw and hubby Tony for giving us the use of their lounge for rehearsals. The refreshments afterwards went down well too! June and Tony were also at front of house along with Margaret Curtis, Patti Reed, Anna Rogers, Mary Styles, Sue Taylor and Moira Watts.

A raffle took place at each performance, with the result that a donation of £100 was made to Macmillan Cancer Support.