Go­ing back to golden days of pan­tomime

Tweed Daily News - - ON SCREEN PULSE - Daniel Mcken­zie daniel.mcken­zie@tweed­dai­lynews.com.au

TWEED Theatre com­pany is turn­ing back the clock to the golden days of pan­tomime with their lat­est of­fer­ing of a tra­di­tional clas­sic.

Fresh off their last pro­duc­tion of top­i­cal play, Aus­tralia Day, the lo­cal theatre favourites will present their adap­ta­tion of Dick Whit­ting­ton and his Cat over six mati­nee per­for­mances.

Stay­ing true to the tra­di­tional me­chan­ics of pan­tomime, au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion is not only ex­pected, but en­cour­aged, in what Tweed Theatre Com­pany’s trea­surer Rod Drum­mond said was a high­light of the for­mat.

“It is a real old fash­ioned pan­tomime and au­di­ence mem­bers get in­volved, whether it’s hiss­ing or boo­ing, au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion is just like in the old days,” Drum­mond said.

“Kids also get in­volved with the show, and with a bit of au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion, they have loads of fun so, it’s good old fash­ioned en­ter­tain­ment for the whole fam­ily.”

Set to pre­miere on Septem­ber 23, the pan­tomime re­volves around Dick Whit­ting­ton and his cat, Tommy, who travel from Glouces­ter to London in search of their fortune.

There they meet Alice Fitzwar­ren, who con­vinces her fa­ther Mr Fitzwar­ren to pro­vide Dick with a job.

En­ter the evil Rat Pack and soon enough, Dick is caught in the cross­fire when he is blamed for their steal­ing from Mr Fitzwar­ren.

Ban­ished from London, Dick and Tommy set sail on a big ad­ven­ture, which brings their jour­ney full cir­cle.

Drum­mond said the pan­tomime, di­rected by Doug Wil­liams, fea­tured a cast of more than 30 per­form­ers, young and old.

“All the cast is from lo­cal ar­eas like Tweed Heads and Mur­willum­bah,” Drum­mond said.

“Our fo­cus is al­ways on giv­ing lo­cals an out­let to per­form.”

While the cast fea­tures a cross sec­tion of per­form­ers, Drum­mond said au­di­ences at most per­for­mances also var­ied greatly in age de­mo­graphic.

“We go from young­sters to the old pen­sion­ers in their wheel­chairs and wheelie

walk­ers. I think they just en­joy see­ing kids per­form and en­joy the mu­sic, and they also love the plays as they of­fer some­thing dif­fer­ent,” he said.

“We just cover a broad range of theatre-go­ers and we have a bit of a rep­u­ta­tion, so they tend to fol­low us and re­ally get into it.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

THE OLD AND THE NEW: Young per­former Nikita Baz­zana be­comes clas­sic char­ac­ter Alice Fitzwar­ren in Tweed Theatre Com­pany's pro­duc­tion of Dick Whit­ting­ton and his Cat.

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