Little Red Riding Hood

St Simon and St Jude's School, Newport Road, Great Lever

I love the story of Little Red Riding Hood skipping along to Granny’s cottage only to be greeted by the Big Bad Wolf. SS Simon and Jude’s production had all the elements of a traditional pantomime but with some modern twists.

Red Riding Hood herself was very sweetly played by Rachel Slater and has a lovely singing voice. She is accompanied to Granny’s by Peter Piper, played by Connor Parkinson, I was very impressed by his sharp comedy delivery.

There were many ‘baddies’ in this script but they were led by David Crank playing Gordon Gazumper, an evil property tycoon. Sharply suited and booted, David got every ounce of ‘badness’ out of his role. Gordon has freed the Big Bad Wolf from prison who is now terrorising the village of Winalot forcing them to sell their homes to him for a knock down price. Alan Yates as the Wolf clearly relished the part

Mayor of Winalot played by Colin Dean was suitably cowardly and was ably supported by Emma Cunningham as Clara the town clerk

On the way to Granny’s, Red Riding Hood meets up with Prince Rupert, confidently played by Jennifer Dagnall and her dog Rufus. Suzanne Smith really impressed me. A non-speaking part, you could tell everything she was thinking by her body language

Every panto has a village idiot and Winalot was no exception. Stuart McCaig as Barney. His energy and enthusiasm had the audience eating out of his hand

Just when you think you can’t shoehorn any more characters into this panto – along come Pinky, Perky & Porky – the three little pigs. They sang and danced with gusto

The set was simple but effective and the costumes were colourful and well thought out

Sound and lighting were spot on.

The chorus was well rehearsed and confident – well done to choreographer Jennifer Dagnall and Dance captain Hannah Bowerbank

Granny Hood, played by Ian Dean-Boardman threw hilarious one liners at us like bullets – I was still laughing on the way home. Congratulations to director Vanessa Dean-Boardmann for getting as many topical jokes in

However, the performance of the night, for me, has to be Nicola Walsh and Lindsay Sheppard as Hammer and Tongs, a pair of inept robbers. Ladies – your comedy timing was fantastic

Red Riding Hood ends tomorrow. Details from

Sharon Morris – BATS