Review: Goody Two Shoes, West Bridgford Dramatic Society

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By sarahlnewall | Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 10:10

By Alan Geary 

Just when your post-Christmas doldrums are about to move in big time, the West Bridgford Dramatic Society comes up with the ideal antidote. It's a convenient hand-me-down cliché, but Goody Two Shoes really is fun for all the family. 

For some less than obvious reason this is a panto that's performed relatively infrequently. It does, after all, incorporate a cracking tale: a struggle between good and evil in which good comes out on top and even the baddies are turned, albeit a tad reluctantly, into jobbing goodies. 

Poor but pretty Goody unwittingly gains possession of a pair of magic shoes belonging to the evil sorcerer Septica, who's determined to get them back. 

Director Tony Vokes uses an excellent text from playwright Paul Reakes. It's full of alliteration, like "mindless morons" to refer to Rolo and Polo (David Crundall and Jerome Foley), the hapless henchmen of Septica – they turn in some splendid slapstick. Septica is played by Michelene Harris in a stand-out performance.

Tim Farrow's Molly Coddle is a terrific dame with his/her glorious malapropisms (Polaroid/paranoid). He/she has some of the best lines in the show. His/her idiot but well-meaning son Teddy is brilliantly handled with a Welsh accent by Ryan Hooper. 

Malcolm Todd's Titus Tightwad, the evil miser, and Vic Carr's Cissie, his daughter, who tends to spray instead of say her words, are both beautifully done. Cordelia Maughan is outstanding in the central role as Goody herself, both as an actor and as a singer. 

There are, of course, lots of local references: in particular Rushcliffe Comp, Clifton and Radford take a thrashing. 

Musical Director Bob Harriss does splendid work. The duet from the leggy Simon (Lynn Burges) and Goody, which sounds like early music complete with harpsichord, is especially beautiful. It's a Kind of Magic and Irving Berlin's Let's Face the Music and Dance are both great. And costumes are excellent, particularly that of The Elf Cobbler (Craig Russell with an Irish accent). 

Good news for both parents and kiddies: unlike too many major pantomimes nowadays, this one's a smut-free zone. And because, as per tradition, the principal boy is played by a woman there's no jarringly inappropriate sexual edge to the central love story. 

The programme tells us that this is the first panto from WBDS. Judging from the audience reaction at the packed-house opening matinée, it's to be hoped they'll make it an annual event. 


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