"Red Riding Hood" January 2009.
Directed by Anne Fowler.
Choreographed by James Sygrove.
The production was again interesting and traditional, with some modern twists, by an enthusiastic cast. The opening of Act 1 was great fun, and well-choreographed, as was the opening of Act 2. I really liked the puppet show, it was very funny and got the audience into the spirit of the show very early on.
I needed more animation from the cast in chorus numbers, which could have been achieved by singing with the music – instead of just moving. There was loads of humour and audience participation. The set was excellent – drawing the eye through to the artwork on the back well. The lighting enhanced the set, and I really liked the effects created. Simon Giltrow (Dame) acted the part well, and has got the female movements down to a “T”. Rory White, Dan Nicholls and Cate McLoughlin were a good trio, and interacted well. Gemma Ferguson gave her usual fine performance, the rabbit costume and make up were good, and the Irish accent was exactly right. Steve Calder was a nice ‘baddie’. Jordan Nicholls did a very good job with his part, and to me was the star of the show because of his energy and characterisation at all times. Katie Smith was a feisty Red Riding Hood, good portrayal and different from the sweet young thing we usually get, and much more fun! I loved Chris McLoughlin’s voice – he was the antithesis of the Big Bad Wolf, which was great, and added a new dimension to an old story. The remainder of the cast members played their parts well, and helped to make this a fun entertainment, with some very good moments.