Clatford Amateur Dramatic Society
ALADDIN - A TRIUMPH FOR CADS
Colourful and comical CADS first foray into pantomime was a triumph and Goodworth Clatford's Village Club was filled with tears of laughter during all three performances of Aladdin.
Bob Houghton made an excellent, technicolour debut as the formidable and riotously funny Widow Twanky. His bold renditions of 'I'm a woman' and 'Stand by your pan' will be impossible to forget. Kim Mawby was a convincing principal boy in the lead role of Aladdin making big eyes at the beautiful Princess Ting-a-ling, Marilyn Hillier, and stealing a noisy kiss.
Their path to true love was spiritually guided by a vision in green, Christine McCann, as Fairy Liquid; the wonderfully camp Chris 'bing bong' Upchurch, as the dutiful Slave of the Ring; and the ever-tuneful David Grey as the Genie of the Lamp. The evil Abby Nasty, was played brilliantly by Sharon Colpman.
The traditional Aladdin script was specially adapted for the Clatford Amateur Dramatic Society by Alan Willens. He also controlled the lights, sound, and masterminded the clever 'Hollywood' sequences, filmed by John Roberts-Davies, which featured several of the cast.
The production was directed by Alwyn Tucker, ably assisted by husband Cliff. Chris Upchurch made the excellent scenery, and Janet Smith weaved her magic with many of the beautiful costumes.
Annie Willens designed and painted the ever-changing scenes with help from other society members. She produced amazingly colourful backdrops for the old street in Peking, the laundry and the enchanted cave - which mesmerised the audience as it lit up with hundreds of tiny lights when the Genie made Aladdin's wish for wealth come true.
One of the hilarious highlights was the laundry scene. The adulterous Emporer, David Benwell, escaped the clutches of his fearsome Empress, Anne Blake, to tinker with his beloved Twanky. But her careless sons Wishey and Washey, played by Janet Smith and Marlene Saunders, accidentally put him through the mangle. After being pressed flat then immersed in water he re-emerged somewhat smaller (Flo Roberts-Davies)!
Flo's dad John and Peter Smith were a comical double act as PCs Ping and Pong trying to apprehend the elusive Aladdin.
Dennis Newnham, Jean Williams, Peter Bray, Pat Carter, Helen Woods and Lynn Brown, all played their parts well as various Chinese characters and Sally Struthers earned the audiences' affections with her amusing information boards, especially for keeping fans up to date with the rugby score on Saturday afternoon!
Twanky's Hotpot was a tasty bonus for the audiences during the evening performance intervals. Thanks to Sally's catering team - Amanda Roberts-Davies, Sonia Upchurch, Pam Morgan, Angela Houghton and Kate Lawton.
Liquid refreshment was supplied by Tony Bridger, Frank Ashley and Pam Morgan.
Many thanks to the rest of the front of house team for selling programmes and running the raffle, and all those working behind the scenes to ensure the actors were beautifully dressed and made up, and armed with the right props at the right time.
As CADS chairman Cliff Tucker said in the programme, it was a lot of work by a lot of folk - a wonderful community effort with so many people helping to make it success. Well done to everyone involved for giving those of us in the audience so much fun.