Cast, Crew & Reviews - Treasure Island 2019


Mrs Hawkins - Simon Vines

Jenny Trelawney - Harriett Jackson

Jim Hawkins - Becky Crisfield

Kittie, the barmaid - Angie MacLean

Squire Trelawney - Brian Turner

Sam  - Jane Swale

Willy - Claire Connery

Billy Bones - Tony Dent

Skeleton - Theresa Hallahan

Long John Silver - Joe Crisfield

Blood Boiler - Neil Tunbridge

Gizzard Slitter - John Hallahan

The Fridge - Andrew Mander

Polly, Silver's parrot - Ros Tunbridge

Mrs Henderson - Theresa Hallahan

Mrs Battersby - Sue Rider

Mrs Snook - Angie MacLean

Ben Gunn - Rick Roberts

Captain Bloodheart - Steve Bishop


Director  -  John Hallahan

Production Manager  -  Alistair Kennard

Set Design  -  Tony Dent

Musical Director  -  Debbi Lindley

Band  -  keyboard: Debbi Lindley & Robert Randall, guitar: Luke Stanley,  bass: Kirsten Pett, drums: Desmond James

Choreographer  -  Becky Crisfield

Stage Managers  -  Andy Hall,  Steve Harris

Lighting & Sound  -  Steve North, Julie Montgomery (with support from Alistair Kennard and Colin Burgess)

Stage Crew  -  Nick Gane, James Quinn

Props  -  Theresa Hallahan, Ros Tunbridge

Set Building  -  Tony Dent, Alistair Kennard, Phil Rathbone

Set Painting & Dressing  -  Barbara Dent, Carol Griffiths

Costumes by BACARDI

Make-up  -  Barbara Dent, Carol Griffiths

Prompt  -  Rosemary Stern, Hazel Mason

Box Office  -  Rick Roberts

Programme  -  Vicky Biggs, Graeme Tunbridge

Publicity  -  The Committee

Front of House  -  Rick Roberts

Refreshments  -  Joe & Becky Crisfield

Review by Phil Wilcox, National Operatic and Dramatic Association

How refreshing to attend an offbeat pantomime for a change, and author Ben Crocker did you proud. The buccaneering tone was set by the obligatory pre-performance announcements, delivered in character and ending “thank you, me ‘earties”, as well as the imaginative designs of skulls and other appropriate items adorning the proscenium arch.

Your talented musical director and co-keyboard player, Debbi Lindley and her consistently entertaining quartet (Desmond James, Kirsten Pett, Robert Randall and Luke Stanley) got things off to a rousing start with Oom Pah Pah, the first of many well-selected numbers throughout the proceedings.

Following his striking performance last year, Simon Vines was comfortably in character as Mrs Hawkins (“I’m wearing my Brexit dress: you want to see me out of it, but when I am you’re not so sure”). I also enjoyed the excellent routine involving a fine piece of acting by Tony Dent (Billy Bones) and the infamous black spot.

Playing Squire Trelawney, Brian Turner gave a strong portrayal, and praise must also duly go to your “mini chorus” in the Admiral Benbow (Steve Bishop, Angie MacLean, SueRiderand Ros Tunbridge), who consistently made me laugh.

Lighting and sound, each designed and operated by Steve North and Julie Montgomery with support from Alistair Kennard and Phil Rathbone) wereneatly and effectively used. The latter ran the gamut from bird noises to a creaking chest and the tearing of a map, and, when used simultaneously as in “night falls quickly” and “dawn breaks” both elements were spot on cue. Costumes by the cleverly-named BACARDIwere, as usual, well-chosen and easy-on-the-eye.

Becky Crisfield gave a likeable performance as Jim Hawkins, as did Harriett Jackson (Jenny Trelawney) with her melodic vocals. Angie Maclean, playing Katie, also made an impact on the audience.

As on the previous occasion 12 months ago when I saw him in action, Joe Crisfield could notbe faulted in the arguably pivotal role of Long John Silver. A strong all-rounder. (I liked the explanation for his discarding the traditional peg leg, by the way: a prosthetic limb after his girlfriend “broke it off”).

Seadog Sam (Jane Swale) and Seaweed Willy (Claire Connery) proved an amusing double act, making the most of their lines. More comedy was supplied by the pirate gang, with their apt names, Blood Boiler (Neil Tunbridge), Gizzard Slitter (alias show director John Hallahan) and The Fridge (Andrew Mander), who worked well together.

It was an inspiration to feature the dauntless members of the Smugglers’ Cove Women’s Institute as would-be crew members. (“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” indeed). The trio (the versatile and multi-talented Theresa Hallahan, Sue Rider and Angie MacLean) combined well as singers and actors.

It was two human birds who nearly stole the show in the second act. What can I say about Ros Tunbridge’s Polly, except tremendous, her comedy lines pointed home in just the right parrot voice? It had me virtually falling off my seat. (An A Plus for the costume incidentally). I must also mention the (uncredited) crow, also in a wondrous costume, who carried off the crow/crew gag well. Not to be outdone, Rick Roberts put his all into his hirsute Ben Gunn.

The Thriller ensemble number was well executed and the luminous scene added an  ingenious touch. I must confess that, not being into children’s television at my advanced age, I had not come across the Baby Shark Song. However, with the encouragement of members of the cast, I was duly persuaded, along with the audience, to get up on my feet and do the actions. Great fun.

An earful of Get Me To The Church On Time rounded off a light-hearted production, which along the way had included amusing allusions to Theresa May’s dance routine, Google, prawn cocktail (“and that’s just for starters”) and, bringing things right up to date, not letting Prince Philip near the wheel of the ship.

Hats off to your debutant director John Hallahan; the capable team involved in building, painting and decorating the sets (I particularly liked the harbour scene, complete with ship); and Becky Crisfield’s choreography, which included a colourful ensemble version of In The Navy.

The simple programme by Vicky Biggs and Graeme Tunbridge - this time, I was delighted to note, duly bearing the NODA logo – was well-designed, informative and gave due prominence to the charity which your society has chosen this year. Plaudits too to the stage crew and everyone else who made invaluable contributions to the show’s success.

Pirates, parrots and Pantoloons. What a winning combination!

I look forward to being invited again next year.

Review by Theo Spring

Treasure Island is not one of the most frequently performed pantomimes, but here with a sparkling and unusual script by panto writer Ben Crocker, the Pantoloons entertained royally.

The set design by Tony Dent, gave rise to colourful scenes in the Admiral Benbow Pub, the Smugglers’ Cove Women’s Institute (as you do!), aboard the Hispaniola and, a special triumph, the Hispaniola and other shipping viewed at Bristol Docks. Following the set building team, the impressive set painting and dressing was in the hard working artistic hands of Barbara Dent and Carol Griffith who were joined by Diana Quinn to make up the trio called Bacardi who dressed the cast in some wonderfully colourful and appropriate costumes - Long John Silver’s being exceedingly impressive.

A large cast provided an evil team of pirates and an awfully well-spoken trio of ladies from the aforementioned WI whose cake baking competition was invaded by the pirates, amusingly dressed as ‘ladies’, in the hope of signing up more crew members to help seek the treasure in the Caribbean. The WI members each had their own characterisation and were well interpreted by Theresa Hallahan as the bold Mrs Henderson, Sue Rider as the more timid Mrs Battersby and Angie MacLean as the cheeky Battenberg cake maker, Mrs Snook.

With a penchant for overdue rent and spotted dick, especially when covered in custard, Brian Turner’s Squire Trelawney, owner of the Hispaniola, also owned The Admiral Benbow, home to Mrs Hawkins and ‘her’ ‘son’ Jim. Simon Vines recreated his well-loved Dame, with stage craft, innuendos - most of which were fit for a mixed audience, and a flurry of bright costumes. Becky Crisfield delivered a bright, breezy and integrated Jim, reacting to the on-stage tale at all times. Love blossoms speedily in pantoland but it took just two minutes for Jim to fall for the Squire’s daughter, Jennifer, played with verve by Harriet Jackson. Their duet Can You Hear The Bells from the musical Hairspray was charmingly delivered and whilst the opening and concerted numbers in the show were lively, the American accent used to deliver a couple of other songs didn’t seem too appropriate in an English pantomime set in Bristol.

In her usual comfortable role as one of the panto knockabouts, Jane Swale delivered her expected comedy. Joined this year by Claire Connery, the pair - Seadog Sam and Seaweed Willy had the genre down to a fine art.

Add to this tale of adventure to seek the treasure, an affectionate parrot - Polly (of course). Beautifully plumed and with a fine squawky delivery, Ros Tunbridge helped the plot along and rescued props which had spilled off the stage, all within character.

Brandishing cutlasses (unless attending the WI!), the three main pirates kept their West Country accents throughout, trying to live up to their pseudonyms with Neil Tunbirdge as Blood Boiler, John Hallahan as Gizzard Slitter and Andrew Mander as The Fridge. Their master - Joe Crisfield as the masterful Long John Silver strode the stage delivering evil plans and having no pity when planning to make his captives on board ship, walk the plank.

Cameo roles were taken, within the cast, by Angie MacLean as Kittie and Tony Dent as Billy Bones. Steve Bishop was a fine and elegant ghost as Captain Bloodheart and Rick Roberts almost confounded the treasure-seekers as Ben Gunn.

The small but most effective band was led by Debbi Lindley as MD and as is inevitable with such demanding shows, the hard-working backstage crew outnumbered the cast. Combining the demanding role of Director with his piratical personae, John Hallahan delivered a fast-paced happy show which encompassed many pantomime traditions, aided by his Production Manager Alistair Kennard and a very on-the-ball team on sound and lighting.

It is evident that The Pantoloons derive a huge amount of enjoyment from their performances with the additional benefit of financial support given to charities over the years. For 2019 the Reedham Children’s Trust will benefit from not only a portion of the ticket sales but the bucket collection taken as the cast sing their audience out.