REVIEW: Panto fun as Sinbad arrives in Berwick

For a small town, Berwick is so fortunate to have a theatre as good as The Maltings.

Friday, 22nd December 2017, 7:16 am
Wendy Payn as Maloko with her pirate crew.

That was amply demonstrated on the opening day of its panto season as audieces enjoyed The Adventures of Sinbad.

As any good panto should do, it delivered on multiple levels.

Mark Vevers as Professor Piranhia and Chloe Edwards as Princess Penelope.

There was silliness and slapstick for the youngest spectators, many enjoying their very first experience of live theatre, while there were clever lines, a little innuendo and plenty of local references to keep the mums, dads and grandparents entertained.

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The small team who produce the show, both on stage and behind the scenes, deserve great credit for putting on such a polished production.

The story begins with Madame Sally Doolally (Euan McIver) arriving by the quayside with her tiger cubs looking for adventure.

Euan is appearing in The Maltings panto for the third successive year and he slipped seamlessly into his new role, even if his outrageous wardrobe more readily caught the eye.

Jonny Ritchie as Sinbad.

He quickly struck up a rapport with the audience, most notably with Kyle from Eyemouth!

Former Berwick High School pupil Jonny Ritchie played the lead role of Sinbad, a delivery lad, with Ross Graham playing his silly sidekick Rodney.

They risk the wrath of pirate Maloko, well played by Wendy Payn, when they decide to take Sally and the tiger cubs on their ship, The Lucky Charm, even though they’ve booked for an adventure on Maloko’s Barri Gadgie.

When Maloko finds out, it’s the cue for a musical interlude with a great rendition of Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do.

Mark Vevers as Professor Piranhia and Chloe Edwards as Princess Penelope.

It all starts to go wrong when they enter into the territory of the evil Professor Piranhia, excellently played by Mark Vevers, complete with his fiendish fish finger!

Professor Piranhia is trying to keep visitors away from his islandlair and the lagoon where a treasure chest is hidden.

It seems The Lucky Charm could be just the thing he needs to unlock its treasures but he reckons without the ship-wrecked Sinbad and his crew.

The spirited Sinbad falls for the professor’s beautiful daughter, Princess Penelope (Chloe Edwards), and is determined to help grant her wish of leaving the island.

Jonny Ritchie as Sinbad.

It is only by working together – and with lots of audience participation - that they find their way to the treasure andcome face-to-face with Professor Piranhia for the final confrontation and the inevitable outcome.

Judging by the audience’s reaction as they drifted off into the cold night air, The Maltings has pulled it off again, putting on a performance of warmth and humour which is perfect for the festive season.

CAST

Sinbad – Jonny Ritchie; Rodney – Ross Graham; Sally Doolally – Euan McIver; Princess Penelope – Chloe Edwards; Professor Piranhia – Mark Vevers; Maloko – Wendy Payn.Pirate crew: (Team Fish) Bob Jeffrey, Morgan Flannigan, Jaimee Lowson, Fern Dundas; (Team Chips) Sam Rogers; Kelis Bloomfield; Tamzin Thomson. Tiger cubs: (Team Fish) Rory Moscrop, Callum Purves, Rebecca Peddle, Sierra Frank, Saskia Morton, Kirstin Blake, Heidi Scott, Erin Younger; (Team Chips) Corey Learmouth, Rufus Martin, Niamh Bankier, Freya Simpson, Gabi Siday, Isla Simpson, Hollie Thomson, Livvy Barr.

The Adventures of Sinbad is showing until December 31.