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Humpty Dumpty Review - NODA

Posted on February 17, 2022 at 3:40 AM

Darnall Musical Theatre co

Humpty Dumpty

Director , MD, and Assistant Choreographer .. Janet Black

Producer & Assistant Director.. Jack Taylor

Choreographer .. Sara Kitchen.

Script by Alan P Frayn

Reviewed Wednesday 16th Feb by Philip Smith

Following a tough two year break, how lovely to be back with Darnall to see their return to the stage but also the milestone of celebrating 50 years of performing to their Sheffield audiences . Darnall MTC is the epitome of community theatre offering encouragement and opportunity to so many young talented performers . The strength in depth runs deep with members having been loyal for many many years and not just performing but forming the backbone of the society .

Like many societies Darnall have lost a number of members during the awful COVID enforced break, but delighted to hear that many of this season's cast are not only new to Darnall but also performing in their first shows .

Panto demands strong characters and seasoned performers and in Jack Taylor you have both ,with his many moments of interacting with his audience and cast members alike .portraying the larger than life man in a dress Dame Ditsy Dither, His delivery daft enough to appeal to the youngsters sprinkled with typical innuendo for the adults .

Lucy Green as Fairy Souffle delivered her many storytelling speeches well with some lovely singing . Ava Quince as Humpty Dumpty showed her many stage talents along with Upsey Daisy played by Hannah Blackwell who between them performed some lovely scenes .

Egg-Nog the Bad -Natasha Blackwell played the baddy of the panto well and I'm sure will milk it even more once performing to full audiences.You should be proud of your lovely singing voice and the clarity and delivery of your lines .Topsey Turvey , the silly Billy of the panto played by Beth Black , your performances get funnier and funnier , your delivery and accenting really made us laugh and the years of experience shine through which I'm sure along with Jack would have helped many of your new cast members .

What a great team Lilly Twigg as General Mayhem formed along with Reggie Mental played by Emily Ballin, the little and large visual effects worked so well . David Kettlewell as King Egg Bert and Megan Green as Princess Petal played their parts well ,during the many and varied scenes they were in.

The young ensemble were a joy to watch , always focussed and giving one hundred percent in their singing, dancing and acting.The pantomime was full of the expected scenes all cleverly thought out and delivered with lovely timing and compliments must go to the production team for their vision and choreography making full use of the comparatively small performance area .The baking scene , nursery rhyme sketches , the UV scene all worked really well . We were privileged to be allowed to see the dress rehearsal , one of the most difficult evenings to perform when panto is so reliant on the audience interactions but well done to you all. Your opening night later today will at last give you the feedback you deserve with the booing and shouting only a full audience can give ..

As a society you should be proud of your achievements , family members producing the sets, props, costumes ,running the front of house , the sound and lighting ,promoting and welcoming the audience . I was thrilled to see so many family names ,Mums and Dads along with their children being involved and long may it continue

Overall a wonderful evening of fun , some excellent performances , lovely singing along with the well thought out choice and selection of music .

In these tough times I was so pleased to see your production sold out , a great tribute to the effort you all put in and I'm certain they will leave , as we did , having had a wonderful evening of theatre .

Thank you again for inviting Sylvia and myself and for the usual hospitality received .

Philip Smith

Noda Regional Rep District 6

Jack and the Beanstalk Review - NODA

Posted on February 22, 2020 at 4:40 PM

Check out this great review from Philip Smith at NODA !!!!

Sylvia and I were delighted to be invited to share an evening with Darnall MTC to see their annual pantomime .

This being my first visit I had no idea of the venue,the society or how Darnall operated. How pleased we were with the warm welcome we received with so many people in front of house.

Darnall MTC are clearly a very strong community theatre group, with many people giving their time to all aspects of this production.

On stage the cast were made up of youngsters all 17 or less , the exception being the larger than life Dame Trot ,Jack Taylor , who clearly gave everything not only to his own performance but providing a high level of experience and timing to the most supportive remaining cast .

Hannah Blackwell as the dashing prince Jack Trot, performed some memorable scenes with many of the performers. I particularly enjoyed the duet with Princess Demelza played very well by Lucy Green .They both showed their many talents not only with the songs but in performance and stage presence.

In every panto there has to be a Simple Simon , and Natasha Blackwell played this part so well, daft but not over the top, clever interactions with her audience, lovely singing and stagecraft .

Stage front left and front right hold significant panto roles almost by tradition, Edena the Eco Fairy ,Matilda Gunn, upholding good from evil, with some lovely acting , excellent clarity , and forming the perfect foil for the villain of the piece Slime Ball played by the very proficient and talented Beth Black.

What can I say about your King Bertram , played by Teagan Pepper and of course his sidekick Trumpet,played by Isaac Pepper ,a formidable set of performers. I really enjoyed the way Teagan played her part showing off a high level of experience with some memorable expressions,great singing,excellently executed scenes

ably supported by Isaac, showing some lovely daft reactions ,along with some clever stagecraft .I was delighted to see the whole cast so enthusiastically involved, some lovely group numbers,and clever shaping by the production team maximising the comparatively small performance area, good use of stage levels and utilisation of entrances and exits.Full compliments for the very effective UV scene with excellent props ,and extremely well executed. I really enjoyed the scenes outside the giant's castle with Slime Ball and the cockroaches, the youngsters all performing really well, and I must say how impressed I was with The Sarg, Megan Green leading the team .

Throughout the panto some lovely choreography allowing everyone on stage to show off their talents . I find it so refreshing to see so many of tomorrow's performers being given these opportunities , and grasping it with both hands. This of course can never happen without the commitment and dedication of the whole team that you clearly have at Darnall.

The costumes , the sets, the clever lighting and well chosen songs , be it solos duets or full chorus were all delivered with great effect.

Well done to one and all for a most enjoyable evening .

It goes to prove that in theatre ,with the high level of support that you obviously have, a wonderful production can be achieved on a comparatively low budget , sending your full house audience home with smiles on their faces.

Thank you again for the invite ,enjoy the remaining performances.

Philip Smith

Noda NE District 6 Regional Rep

Jack and the Beanstalk Review - Last Night I Dreamt Of

Posted on February 20, 2020 at 11:00 PM

Review by Leah Rhodes-Burch.

“Last night I had the pleasure of attending Darnall Musical Theatre Company’s (DMTC) Panto ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. From the offset it is clear that the whole community is behind the company and the production. We had the privilege of being placed right in the heart of the audience who were buzzing with excitement and added to our enjoyment of the evening.


I have to mention the fabulous set and costumes! Everything was vibrant and engaging and built by a team led purely from DMTC. They are a very talented bunch – watch out for the wonderful neon magical beans dance which was a highlight of the show.


The cast are made up of performers aged 17 and under (bar 1 – although she’ll swear she’s not that much older). This is by no means detrimental to the production – it is proof that Sheffield Amdram has amazing talent emerging through the companies, and DMTC is definitely supporting and encouraging a LOT of them.


Jack – played excellently, in true pantomime boy style by Hannah Blackwell, and his mum Dame Trot – played with wonderful finesse by Jack Taylor, are destitute and need to raise money quickly to pay off King Bertram’s taxes so he can reach the terrible Giant Blunderbore’s monetary demands. King Bertram – is played by Teagan Pepper who is quick witted, and has wonderful comic timing. The King does not like Jack because he is in love with his daughter Princess Demelza. Princess Demelza is played by Lucy green, whose vocal range is way beyond her years and is one to watch.


The story unfolds watched closely by the excellent good and evil duo of ‘Edena the Eco Fairy’ (Matilda Gunn), and ‘Slime Ball’ (Beth Black). The pair have great chemistry, Matilda is engaging as the fairy, showing compassion and warmth with both the cast and audience, and Beth (Slime Ball) is brilliant as the evil Henchman. Beth has a natural stage presence, and excellent characterisation that draws the audience in with lots of Boos and hisses!


I must mention two performers: firstly, Isaac Pepper who plays Trumpet – King Bertram’s side-kick. He is a great talent and one of the best dancing tree’s I’ve ever seen. Secondly, Izzie Hall who not only has to wear one of the best costumes (sorry Dame Trot, but she definitely upstages you) but has the most memorable voice of the evening! Excellent vocals for someone so young.


One thing that is very clear from the start is how much all the cast know the show, and how much they are enjoying themselves. There is not one step out of place, and smiles all round. The dancers and ensemble are pivotal in this performance and bring the stage to life.


The choreography of the show created by Sara Kitchen is perfect. The direction by Janet Black, is natural and seamless, with a clear intuition and experience of all things Panto.


Jack Taylor who plays Dame Trot, has the wonderful dryness expected by a true panto Dame, and is very cheeky with the audience who join in with him all in good jest!


My standout performance of the night is Simple Simon, played by Natasha Blackwell. Natasha has a natural stage presence, that is both believable and extremely funny. She plays the side kick to Jack and Dame Trott effervescently. Her love for Daisy the cow (played wonderfully by Neeve Chapman and Isabelle Stevens) is heart-warmingly good!


If you are stuck for something to do this weekend at the end of half-term, get tickets for this excellent family panto – you will not be Fi-fi-fo-fummed!!!”