A giant panto success at Oakengates theatre
13th December 2010
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Once again we have been treated to a top class panto at The Place Oakengates Theatre.

Every year we take the kids to The Place and we are never disappointed and trust me 3 kids under 9 are quick to let you know if the panto has their approval. This year it got the big thumbs up again.

This years performance of Jack and the Beanstalk had me and the kids laughing out loud and it just goes to show that you can't keep an old pro down.

I had my doubts about Bernie Clifton as the star of the show but he was and still is a very funny man.

Bernie plays 'Simon', Jacks brother (ok, you have to use your imagination a bit here) but even on the opening night his ad-libs were flowing and had both the cast and the audience in fits. I can only imagine that this performance is going to get funnier and funnier and Bernie Clifton gets full marks from me. He is truly an old pro and hasn't lost his timing or the funny side which all of the kids warm to.

Don't forget Bernie's Ostrich either which makes a guest appearance. Who ever thought of putting the little ones from Carmichael School of dance on their own little ostriches had a stroke of genius, it was lovely to watch.

And whilst I am mentioning Carmichael School of dance, I should say that the performances from all of the dancers from the 4 year olds right up to the teenagers was fantastic. They must have done hours and hours of practice and they were great. No wonder that The Carmichael School of Dance is renowned and still one of the best dance schools on Shropshire.

Carmichael school of Dance and theatre arts information

We were also treated to the magical voices of Xfactor's Andy Steed who played Jack along with Olivia Sloyan who was our Princess Amelia for the night. The duets and the solos were a pleasure to listen to.

The recipe of Bernie Clifton's whit and natural timing, Andy and Olivia's beautiful voices, the brilliant dancers from Carmichael School of dance mixed with Dame Trott, King Crumble, lots of 'oh no your nots' and 'it's behind yous' made for aother great panto and a GIANT success for Oakengates Theatre at The Place.

I say it every year and it still stands true. You could travel to Manchester or Birmingham to see a panto and it would be no more fun than the brilliant pantos we can see at our own Telford theatre in Oakengates. It's right here on our doorstep so make the most of it!

Well done everyone.

Oakengates Theatre information

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Mark Luckman

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