‘The Spice of Life’
CALDBECK Players is a prolific amateur dramatic group that has contributed immensely to the life of the village and area for many years. Their latest production ‘An All Ages (7-77) Variety Show’ displayed once again that the Players can turn their talents to almost anything and put on a show.
The show in question was produced principally by Antoinette and David Ward and the last of a three night run, on Thursday 22nd January, was played to full house in that hub of Caldbeck life, the parish hall.
Compere Tim Cartmell, he of the booming voice, dicky bow tie and many amusing asides, most of them aimed at the resident pianist Lorraine (“Kiwi”) Gash, kept the show rolling along. The diversity and range of ‘Variety’ was extraordinary, a sort of Caldbeck’s answer to Sunday night at the London Palladium, and embraced comedy, music and song (classical and popular) a mini pantomime, dance and literature.
The literary element was provided by former cricketer of this parish, the one and only Bob Whitson, who gave highly entertaining and word-perfect renditions of two comic stories, ‘The Ballad of Idwal Slabs’ and ‘George ‘erbert Pudden’. Bob was a busy lad because between readings he also performed The Sand Dance together with the much-needed help of Barbara Mitchell and Alan Tyson who added a new variation on the meaning of the word ‘co-ordination’.
On a musical note sisters Aimee and Mia Lillington performed songs and dance from ‘Frozen’, Carol Hine was truly majestic with her full-sail version of Joyce Grenfell’s ‘Stately as a Galleon’, Sarah Carter and Misha Atkinson performed excellent piano solos and Katherine Lewin gave the show a Burns’ Night feel with her moving ‘Ye Banks and Braes o’ Bonnie Doon’. The Tapselteeries, namely Paul Hayton, David Kerry, Alastair MacFadzean, Andrew Ward and David Ward also added their voices to the Scots musical theme while young dancers Caitlin Brownrigg, Polly Cooper, Ella Horne, Lucy Jones, Megan Steadman, Lauren Woodham and the Lillington sisters were admirable in the choreographed dance ‘Moves Like Jagger’.
The mini panto of Cinderella was a classic of its kind with the ugly sisters (Charlie Hudson and Jonny Trotter) stealing the show.
A comic sketch was provided by Pat Shaw who demonstrated that you can strip while ironing while the Horne family (John, Helen, Joseph, Arran and Ella, all directed by Matthew) were vastly entertaining in their slapstick version of Monty Python’s ‘The History of the Jape’.
This review has not mentioned absolutely everyone and all the vitally important roles they performed in pulling this show together but Caldbeck Players ‘Variety Show’ was a credit to everyone who played a part, in front of or behind the curtains. And it proved beyond any doubt that variety is, indeed, the spice of life. KTR.