review by Carol Waterkeyn
Oh no you didn’t! Oh yes we did go to see the pantomime by the talented Highcliffe Charity Players at the Regent Centre on 15 January, and what a treat it was.
The last time we went to a panto must have been 20 years ago.
There were lots of opportunities for audience participation in booing – Mike Young played a superb King Rat and was my favourite character. Malcolm George was an excellent and amusing Jack Spratt. They were the stand-out performances for me. Naomi Mantle played a slightly understated Dick Whittington, Hannah Jean made a charming Alice and Debra Slee, the fairy, had a beautiful speaking and singing voice.
We enjoyed the performances of Paul Barrington as Gertrude Sprat, Stanley Smith as Tommy the cat (with a very loud miaow!) and Hayley Ruck as dizzy Maisy. Pete Whitaker as Sultan Peppa, although very good in the part, made us a bit uncomfortable with his non-PC accent. The other characters, too numerous to mention were entertaining, too. A special mention should go to the wonderful Chorus, who sang and danced especially well.
It was a high-energy performance from beginning to end and the time passed quickly. There were a few loud bangs, which made us jump.
It was great to see so much talent in one show and did we enjoy it? Oh yes we did!
Two days later, Actor Guy Henry visited the Regent Centre to congratulate the cast. Guy, who plays surgeon Henrik Hanssen in the BBC’s Holby City, made his stage debut with the Players at the age of 11, playing a footman in HCP’s Cinderella, and is President of the group.
HCP’s ‘Dick Whittington’ runs at the Regent Centre until this Saturday, 20 January.