CINDERELLA A ‘GRATE’ PANTOMIME [OR IT WOULD HAVE BEEN!]: Last weekend’s pantomime would have been all about a ‘ grate,’ swept constantly by Cinderella for the rest of her life, but no, along comes a Fairy Godmother, with a wand, and a few yards of blue satin, and Cinderella never has to sweep another Grate again as long as she lives.

THE IDEN PLAYERS gave us a heart- warming performance of ‘Cinderella’ last weekend, in Iden village hall. Now, where to start? I’ll start with the littlest, the chorus of mice, ably played by Carol Bourne Carolyn Burdett, Heather Munds Janet Dixon, Janet Wood, Maggi Rogers and Paula Riley’. For nothing more than a wedge of ‘Cheese Glorious Cheese’ they gave us their all, [and were exceptionally squeaky!] Two little dancers Izzy Parsons and Rebeka Arnaudova, enchanted us with their dancing.

Bob Hammond wrote and directed the pantomime, and also played Mr Grabbit, who with his mate Mr Scarper, [played by Alison Catt], entertained us with their avaricious trickery. They played a couple of good for nothings, with morals somewhere between a great train robber and Uriah Heep!

Prince Charming [played by Helen Gray], and Dandini [played by Debbie Curd] swapped roles for a bit, confusing poor old Cinderella, who had no idea that she would soon be swapping hand –me downs [from ‘George’, at Asda] for Armani and Stella McCartney.

Helen Gray [soloist] Bob Hammond, Alison Catt John Harrison, Ray Griffin, [singing duo’s], and of course Cinders herself, played by Donna Ferguson [soloist], had specific singing parts. The chorus, sang in unison, and danced at intervals throughout, with great enthusiasm.

Stanley Cope played Buttons. Every year we see Stanley grow, not only in height, but as a performer. He was competent, and word perfect .On the one hand he was hapless, lovelorn Buttons, and on the other, seemed to be the one character who had everyone in Stoney-Broke Towers taped, popping up periodically to explain their dastardly dealings.

Debbie Hammond made all the costumes, and as usual they were colourful, and well-suited for each performer, and must have had her sewing into the wee small hours. Doreen Leggo made Cinderella’s ball gown, which was absolutely spot on, transforming Cinderella into a ‘vision in blue’.

Now we come to the three ‘Hardup’ reprobates. Teresa Parsons played Baroness Hardup, as if designing, and painting the sets, and being the producer was not enough. [Teresa always throws herself wholeheartedly into productions.]

The ugly sisters, Beyonce [played by John Harrison], and Kylie, [played by Ray Griffin] were so man-hungry they should have come with a government health warning. Dressed in matching Marge Simpson wigs, they tottered around the stage, hoisting their bosoms like a couple of Les Dawson look-alikes. These two, the apples of Baroness Hardup’s eye are actually best described as apple ‘ TARTS’, with more than a little facial hair!. The Fairy Godmother [played by Liz Pamboris], shone, and sparkled beautifully [thanks to by Mike Lovick, who was in charge of lighting.] Cinderella, was played by Donna Ferguson, who gave her performance just the right kindly, unassuming touch we all expect of Cinderella. Major Domo, who demanded tickets for the ball was well-played by Janet Wood, who cleverly manages to fit apt actions and facial expressions to any part. Prompt was Christopher Strangeways [though we missed him being on stage this year!]

Now for the Musical Director, Susannah Miller, who plays the piano, teaches songs, presides over extra rehearsals, and is always there to encourage and cajole. When Susannah is at the piano stool, we know it will be okay.

Stage Managers were Richard Cooper, and Terry Munds, Props. Yvonne Metcalf, and front of house Alan Riley, Victoria Riley Josie Agnew, Julie Cope, Rita Sullivan, Ian Rhodes, Neville Payne and Fran Lovick. Very well done to Bob and Debbie and Teresa and Susannah, and all the cast and helpers Thank you one and all for transforming Iden into a fairytale, if only for the weekend!

IDEN PLAYERS WISH TO EXTEND THEIR THANKS!: Many thanks to all those who provided raffle prizes, to John Bryant of ‘On Stage Ltd’, for the loan of the lighting, to Chris and Sally, from Iden Stores who sold tickets, and ‘The Bell’, at Iden for sponsorship of the programme.

THE KNITTER-NATTER: There will be a knitter-natter, in Iden village hall, on Tuesday 29th March, from 2pm-4pm. This is an invitation to bring your knitting, sewing, patchwork, or whatever, for a chat and get-together. It doesn’t matter if you knit one purl one and drop one, anyone from the Rye area is most welcome to come along.

BINGO: The next Bingo session will be on 31st March, in Iden village hall’ Anyone from the Rye area is very welcome, and there is fun to be had. There is a raffle, a jackpot, a flier, and a light tea is served at half time . Doors open at 2pm, Eyes down at 2.30pm

THE POP-IN: The next Pop-In, is on Monday 4th April, at 11am, in Iden village hall. Everyone is welcome for a friendly get-together, coffee/tea, and biscuits, and a bit of bric-a-brac

IDEN and DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY AGM.: On Friday, 1st April, there will be an AGM, of particular interest, because Doctor Barry Yates will speak about the future of Rye Harbour nature reserve. There will be refreshments, and a raffle. Visitors pay £3. If anyone wishes to join the society, please ring Colin Page [telephone 01-797 224231], or Melvin Smith [telephone 01-797 270587]

GOOD FRIDAY AT PLAYDEN CHURCH: There will be visual and active representations of ‘Stations Of The Cross’, at Playden Church, from 10am-3pm.

SATURDAY, MARCH 26TH, AT PLAYDEN CHURCH: There will be a 6pm ‘Blessing Of The First Light, at Playden Church. [and clocks go forward at 2am, Sunday morning], Easter Sunday: 9.30am. Parish Communion at Iden Church, 11am. Parish Communion at Playden Church.

MISINTERPRETED FOOD VALUES: My Mother-in-Law used to think that a person could eat anything they liked and lose weight, provided that they ate a couple of lettuce leaves. Last week my granddaughter brought us a war-time pie. [a school project] The crust was made from flour and mashed potato with a little milk, and the inside was chopped vegetables. After munching a few small pieces of chopped vegetables the size of a fingernail, my husband said “there, I’ve had my five a day”. “No Grandad you have to eat five whole vegetables, or pieces of fruit”, said the children. [he’s just like his mother] Bless her, she would eat her way through a large bar of fruit and nut and a box of Maltesers, pick up a lettuce leaf and swear she was on a diet. She was lovely though, I’d rather have her than the most ardent nutritionalist, because with Nanny Griffin you could laugh yourself thin!

CONTACT ME: If anyone has anything to add to the Village Voice, please contact Gill Griffin [telephone 01-797 280311]

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