A twist on a much loved fairy-tale ‘Return to Neverland’ earned Erwood YFC the top spot in this year’s national pantomime competition final.
Held at the Opera House theatre in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, the small Welsh club of 31 members won the votes of the three-strong judging panel, after competing in a closely fought battle with Brampton YFC, Cumbria and Cheriton and Tedburn YFC, Devon.
Written, produced and choreographed by Samuel Powell, the story was a follow on from the tale of Peter Pan. Wendy and her brothers returned to Neverland but in a clever twist of the plot everything had been turned on its head. Captain Hook, and his pirates had turned good and the lost boys were now lost girls, led by a superbly evil Tinkerbell, with a taste for power, played by Lydia Powell.
Woven with a great selection of songs including Chicago’s, ‘He had it Coming’ and Julia Michaels’, ‘Issues’ performed by the lily-livered Captain Hook, played by Sam Powell. The dramatic scenery and excellent acting meant this panto kept the audience fully engaged throughout.
This was Erwood’s first time competing in a pantomime national final and the judges, Les Smith, Jo Sykes and Ashley Booker, from the Guild of British Ajudacators, praised the efforts of members.
Mr Smith said: “The whole production was very engaging and entertaining with high energy demonstrated by an enthusiastic cast whose enjoyment shone through in this super original story.”
The runners up were Cheriton and Tedburn YFC with their pantomime called ‘Allad-out of Town’.
The story is based around Aladdin’s son Toni, played by Louise Putt, and his quest to rescue the lamp from Aladdin’s evil brother, Gary, played by Dan Grist.
While Aladdin is out of town on a Brexit deal, Toni is outwitted by the evil Gary and the lamp is stolen, a panto cow is the only person who can save the day.
The judges gave a special mention to fairy one played by 11-year-old, Amy Richardson for her acting and her vocal and dancing solo.
Third place went to Brampton YFC with their hilarious, innuendo-packed rendition of Dick Whittington.
Dick, played by Sophie Brooksbank, and his sassy cat Slocombe, played by Grace Allan travel to London where the streets are paved with gold, but end up washed up on a desert island, however Dick manages to find love and riches along the way.
Recognition must also go to talented pianist and member, Lewis Ransely, who played every note in the hour-long production
Best actor and actress titles were awarded to Erwood YFC, brother and sister duo, Sam Powell who played Captain Hook, and Lydia Powell who played Tinkerbell.