The first public performance of the pantomime from local drama group Stornoway Thespians hit the stage in An Lanntair on December 3rd.
Classes of schoolchildren packed the hall, understandably excited with their class outing.
Soon they became settled when the characters appeared and the story of Alice’s journey through Wonderland began.
A mixture of mediums were used in the presentation as well as the entire hall space, the audience being kept on their toes as characters appeared from the rear and to the sides.
The thought of a pantomime conjures certain images, and none were found lacking here. We met the buffoon whose antics were met with laughter from children and adults alike, the dame in “her” fabulous frocks, wigs, and make-up, who also appeared in the role of the villain, and the main character who we all cheered on as she realised her destiny.
The majority of the roles were played by high school pupils who displayed a wide range of talent and professionalism.
Given that this was the first performance to an audience, the cast would have been forgiven had lines been dropped or cues missed, but this was not the case. Perhaps it was the children’s performance, their willingness to be onstage, and how clear it was that they were enjoying the experience that was most prevalent.
In addition to that the costumes and make-up were especially good, in particular that of the king and queen.
So, who was the target audience? There was something for everyone. The children enjoyed the easy to follow story, told through fun characters who danced and sung along to recent pop hits. For the adults there was many a joke that flew over the heads of the children, and the joy of seeing children having fun, both on stage and in the audience.
The annual performance is now over, and the cast and crew completely deserving of praise and a bit of rest. The work done by the group sees the provision of wonderful opportunities being granted to children (and adults) to learn and develop new skills in their own communities, skills that are a great blessing to themselves and to those fortunate enough to see them on stage.
Review by Màiri Namac
Pictured are the cast on stage at the town’s an Lanntair arts centre.