REVIEW: Fine comic acting in a first-class pantomime from the Barn’s Green Players

Graeme Muncer (Queen Stacey) and Abi Hearn (D'Artagnan) in (not quite) The Three Musketeers
Graeme Muncer (Queen Stacey) and Abi Hearn (D'Artagnan) in (not quite) The Three Musketeers

(not quite) The Three Musketeers, Barns Green Players

I can honestly say that this was one of the very best pantomimes that I have ever seen (and I’ve seen a few).

Everything about the show was first class and from the very start the sell-out audience were captivated. It was traditional performance with all the usual pantomime elements but with a modern twist and some totally unexpected parts.

There was some great straight and comedy acting on show. The two leads, Abi Hearn (D’Artagnan) and Lucy Walker (Princess Chantelle) both have superb singing voices and were naturals in their roles. Adam Tingley was a highly credible baddie (Baron Garlicbreath) and Warren Blanchard and Nigel Baker gave outstanding performances as his henchman.

The Three Musketeers themselves brought the house down with their antics. Bridget Tidey (Aramis) and Lorraine Muncer (Athos) proved to be the perfect straight men for the brilliant Winks Parrish as Porthos. She had the audience in hysterics – great comic timing and some wonderfully funny lines. Graeme Muncer was superb as Queen Stacey and if there is a better Dame in amateur (or professional) Panto I have yet to see him.

The young chorus were also full of enthusiasm and charm.

It was so refreshing to see such professionalism in an amateur show. The costumes and set were outstanding and the sound, lighting and technical elements were all extremely good and provided so many surprising comic ingredients. There was even a free fun pack for all the kids to go with the excellent programme for the production.

You could tell just how much effort had gone into the production and there were some lovely additional touches.

Whether it was the hilarious Tracey Francis (Story Teller) desperate for a bigger part in the show and forcing her way onto the stage to sing, the singing meerkats hanging from the rafters or the two mothers suddenly appearing as backing singers traversing the stage – all had the audience in hysterics.

This was a terrific piece of entertainment from a small but extremely talented group. They even wrote the excellent script themselves.

I haven’t laughed so much for ages and at less than half the cost of some ‘professional’ shows, this was excellent value as well. Very well done, Barns Green Players.

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