April 17, 2018

The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase

An isolated grand house, the surrounding snowy winter countryside home to hungry marauding wolves who found their way here through the Channel Tunnel! This is the setting Joan Aiken created for her popular and much loved Willoughby Chase stories.

As can be expected this presented quite a challenge for the director of this production for Pirton Players but it was met with a creative response by director Janet Tackley and her crew who defined and created the essential set and props for this lively production. The use of a film screen gave the audience the outdoor backdrop and the sparseness of the internal set supplied just the right barren atmosphere for the audience and cast to respond to. This was all well supported by the lighting and sound effects.

The plot requires a mixture of adult and various aged children who all played their parts with expertise and enthusiasm. The two young girls handled their roles by with confidence and understanding and the supporting younger ones worked hard and succeeded in all they were involved in. This was very apparent in the second act when all the children chanted a ‘cheese’ alphabet to a visiting school inspector which received a delighted spontaneous response from the audience and brought the house down!!

What can be said of the baddies?  I thought they were amongst some of the best and most believable baddies I’ve seen on stage! Thank goodness they were only acting!!!! They were often quite frightening but the brave girls won through in the end assisted by the kindly farmer’s boy whose songs were absolutely delightful.

In all this was a most successful and enjoyable production. It was great to see a variety of ages and experiences working so well together. Well done all of you!

[Review by Loretta Concannon]

 

Director - Janet Tackley
Producers - Maxine Shearer & Stella Turner

Cast
Narrator - Julia Hawkins & Jill Rogers
James – Elise Budd
Bonnie-Amelie Peters
Guard - Paul Ribbans
Mr Grimshaw - Michael Tackley
Sylvia - Kaia Sweatman
Sir Willoughby - Stuart Alexander
Miss Slighcarp - Justine McCreith
Doctor Morne - Joe Emler
Mrs. Brisket - Stella Turner
Simon - Joe Emler
Inspector - Michael Tackley
Emma - Elise Budd
Mr. Wilderness - Sue Kennedy
Dr Field – Paul Ribbans
Mr. Gripe - Sue Kennedy
Chorus/wolves/servants/orphans -  Elise Budd, Jake McCreith, Elodie Peters, Charlotte Woodhouse, Victoria Woodhouse & Skye Simmons.
Musicians - Julie Dawson & Sophie Davies

Crew
Director - Janet Tackley
Producers - Maxine Shearer & Stella Turner
Stage Manager - Sophie Davies
Set - Marc de Salis & Jaqueline Hockley
Props - Lucinda Rowe
Wardrobe - Anne Peters
Lighting & special effects - Reuben Harvey
Sound & video - clive Griffin
Original music – Jon Shearer
Artwork – Rebecca Turner
Publicity - Mark Sadler
Box Office - Stella Turner
Bar - Ed Picken, Jill Rogers, Lucinda Rowe, Sue Richards, Alison gibbs, ruth Smith, Anne & Chris Peters
Front of house - Rebecca Turner & team
Website - David Woodward

 

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