REVIEW: Dronfield pupils excel in homegrown panto
Students and staff from Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School (and a very talented group of pupils from Dronfield Junior School) staged The Princess
and the Peabrain, a new home-made production set in the centre of a fairy tale kingdom- in Dronfield of course!
This pantomime perfectly combined what everyone is familiar with – figures from well-known fairy tales as well as popular songs and TV shows.
A cast of more than 100 not only proved their talents but also the hard work they had exercised to get the play on stage. From the
main to the smallest character everyone involved played their part with great passion. Has a queen, (played by Freya Cooper) ever been more sly? A step mother (Miranda Walker-Wood) crueller? Stepsisters (Anastasia Shaw and Maisie Finlayson) more arrogant? A pair of swindlers (Hannah Allison and Maya Andrews) craftier? A princess (Annabelle Davies) more suffering? And Simple Simon (Alex McLachlan) simpler than here? And how much did some of the teachers really have to train for their roles- one was tempted but would never dare to ask.
A special mention must go to Mother Hubbard played by Gill Schofield who delivered a tremendous performance just prior to her retirement at the end of this term. It wasn’t just the individual roles that grabbed attention but the group scenes were brilliantly presented with dancing and singing that gripped the audience. The young actors made a great impression on everyone, right from the pensioner down to the toddler: people sang along, shouted warnings and were scared by the spine-chilling costumes and make-up of the witches, vampires and ghouls.
Better than a Disney film, The Princess and the Peabrain is school play at its best – all the actors proved they had meticulously studied and then applied the principles that make plays professional.
Given all that, one simply cannot but wonder how many future acting careers might lie dormant in this cast.
And at the happy end of the two-act fairy tale play only one question remains: Why did Mother Hubbard initially want Daisy the cow to be sold to a tourist? If there weren’t any luggage restrictions on planes, this German visitor (who is not a tourist) immediately would have bought that cute tap-dancing cow – and, of course, the Golden Goose!