Tale brimming with panto fun

Lundie Theatre Group at the Montrave Hall (picture by George McLuskie)
Lundie Theatre Group at the Montrave Hall (picture by George McLuskie)

Lundie Theatre Group members have again demonstrated that when it comes to talent, their cupboard is certainly not bare.

They only embark on a panto every second Christmas and, from the work that clearly went into this production, you can see why.

Directed by Jennifer Brown and Brenda Stafford, ‘Old Mother Hubbard’ had everything you would expect from a panto, and much more.

Witches, monsters, Dick with his big chopper, Jack and Jill, Leonardo da Vinci, a dog, a cat, a youth machine and, of course, a Dame – Old Mother Hubbard, cast and played to perfection by Robert Williamson.

An everyday tale, then, of an ageing witch Hepzibah, played superbly by Gillian Richards, seeking to regain her lost youth, assisted by her trusty cat, Astrophe – equally brilliantly realised by Suzanne

Elder.

The duo travel through villages of nursery characters, enchanted forests, castles and old ruins. All the while, Mother Hubbard attempts to marry off her daughter Polly, the accomplished Sue Cargill, to the rich Duke, played by the unique Dave Lister.

Polly is, of course, deeply in love with Dick, the principal boy, stylishly played by Antonia Pettifer.

After wonderful songs, numerous ‘behind you’s, fabulous slapstick capers from Ruff and Scruff, played by Laurie Taylor and Roddy Sneddon, Woolly the dog, played by Jacob Pettifer – in his first woofing part but possibly not his last – is eaten by the monster.

The Monster dies, the dog comes back from the brink, the spell cast by the Evil Witch Cloaca, another top turn from Linnie Campbell, is broken, releasing Prince Lorien, played by Jenni Ballingall and the Princess, Angeline, played by Kirsty Rodger.

Shazam, they all live happily ever after.

It never ceases to amaze what a small group of dedicated people can do – even more impressive with so many young performers.

The quality of this production, from the props, sound, lighting, stunning sets, make-up, costumes and choreography, was astonishing for a small theatre group and demonstrated the huge commitment from the cast and crew.

This performance was magical from the beautiful dance sequence performed by Jenny Sterling, Ava Fleming, Lucy Hutchison, Adele Rodger, Rebekah Wilson, Kirsty McIntyre, Joanne Robertson and Catriona McIntyre, to the witches cackling ‘Mooklings’, Eilidh Geddes, Scott Allan and Sam Fowler.

To top it all, a real butterfly appeared one night and landed repeatedly on Polly’s costume, much to the amusement of all.

Sometimes a little magic really does happen.

When the band – Jimmy Robertson, Alan Kyle, Liz Ireland and Eldon Zuill – struck up ‘Happy’ for the finale, you knew that is exactly what this cast and crew had made their audience.