Marion Lovell, Abingworth, New England Lane, Playden
Sherwood Copse came to the Village Hall last Saturday in the form of the Iden Players’ first pantomime, Robin Hood, playing to packed audiences for both performances.
As the Narrator, John Smith warned us at the outset, whether the plot bore any resemblance to historical fact will be the subject for village debate for years to come. However, suffice to say it did all seem to be very plausible
The villainous Sheriff of Nottingham ( Bob Hammond) was as expected, treating his peasants with his usual cruelty in pursuit of ill gotten wealth and had his eyes on marrying the young Maid Marion (Hannah Claasen) who thankfully had other ideas and of course was already in love with Robin Hood, the Earl of Locksley( Maddie Killelay). Further love interest or rather desperation to find another husband, came from the recently widowed Lady Clementine( John Harrison) , - a striking likeness to Dame Edna- pursuing a hapless Lord Knowse ( Dickie Jones)
If this was not complicated enough we had a useless ( robbery speaking) band of Merry Men described as “outlaws“, trees that seemed to move around the copse, a soldier/woodsman who was playing many parts and the Sheriff’s young hard done by servant, Dogberry(Stanley Cope) who should have been taken into care years earlier. All this and lively audience participation.- what more could we want?
Without giving the entire plot away, the Sheriff’s dastardly deeds were soon brought to a happy conclusion by the unexpected return home from the Crusades of a splendid King Richard the Lionheart ( typecast and guest appearance by Christopher Strangeways). Marion and Robin, Lady Clementine and a still bewildered Lord Knowse were married by a portly Friar Tuck ( Ray Griffin)and the Sheriff finally banished to the far off land of Hastings. The village celebrated, the peasants were liberated, the trees were not cut down and the audience left in a very happy mood having enjoyed a very entertaining happening and great performances by all the cast.
The panto would not have possible of course without the hard work of Bob Hammond, who not only played the Sheriff, but also wrote, recycled the jokes and directed the show. Special thanks also has to go to Teresa Parsons who was responsible for the production, set, scenery, make up and raffle and even had time to be one of the outlaws. The piano was played by Susannah Miller and we also had David Tyrrell in the form of Little John leading a couple of songs with his ukulele, although he could not resist at one stage giving a few blasts from the bagpipes in order to heighten the story’s suspense.
Additionally, many thanks must go to the rest of the cast, the backroom technicians, front of house people and the prompt, Deborah Hammond the director ‘s wife, who also looked after the magnificent costumes and had the almost impossible task of keeping her husband in order.
Proceeds from the Raffle will go to three village charities and it is hoped that this will be the first of many village pantomimes to come.
Many congratulations to everyone who participated and helped with this hugely enjoyable and slick production and to the many people who attended and supported the performances.
Live theatre has at last returned to Iden!
The Mobile Library will be calling next on Monday 29 April when there will be the resumption of the Coffee mornings in the Village Hall from 11am to 1.30pm
Sue White would like to thank all those who helped and supported the Jumble Sale on the 13 April which raised a magnificent £960 The monies will go to BACE a charity which is aiding children in The Gambia to enter the education system .Sue and John particularly have spent time during the past two years in this country and many will have seen the invaluable work they have achieved there in order to improve the children’s lives.
Sue White would like to thank all those who helped and supported the Jumble Sale on 13th April, which raised a magnificent £960. The monies will go to BACE, a charity which is aiding children in The Gambia to enter the education system. Sue and John particularly have spent time during the past two years in this country, and many will have seen the invaluable work they have achieved there in order to improve the children’s lives.
A mini-bus full of Iden residents was at St. Mary in the Castle recently for a splendid concert given by Crispian Steele Perkins, the internationally famous trumpeter. The connection was that his brother-in law had lived in Iden, and this concert was a celebration of the life and work of Mark Tancock, and to raise funds for St. Michael’s Hospice. Crispian gave such a lovely, lively concert, demonstrating many of his collection of ancient instruments, and playing some of them most beautifully. He was very ably accompanied by Leslie Pearson, who at one time was e rehearsal pianist for West Side Story. The two of them had such empathy, and were having fun themselves. We all enjoyed it very much.
The funeral of Mr. Bob Press from the Playden Oasts will take place on Tuesday 7th May at 11.30 am in Iden Church. I don’t usually report on deaths in the village, but mine host will be much missed.
The Mobile Library should be back with us on Monday 29th April from 12.05 to 12.45. This is also the resumption of the well supported Coffee Morning, open to serve you from 11 am to 1.30 pm.
The 9.30am service will be Parish Communion led by the Vicar.