I am the Lynda Snell of Wivenhoe!!! (says North Essex Theatre adjudicator)

Strange dreams last night courtesy of tapas at the Cornerhouse Cafe in Wivenhoe.

Not – let me say – that there is anything wrong with the tapas at the said Cafe. Far from it in fact. The food was very good – the wine was excellent – just the quantity of food I ate – and more especially the quantity of strong cheese played merry hell with my sleeping brain.

So back to my dream.

Wide shot – the stage of the Wivenhoe Panto

(pic courtesy of Onionbagblog)

Its the second half of the #wivpanto – and I’m on stage with another cast member performing with a voice on tape. For some reason it all goes horribly wrong – why I couldn’t tell you but no doubt it was my fault. All I know is we die horribly. We’re left on stage staring at each other hopelessly not knowing what to do next as the audience looks on expectantly. The pause goes on and on and on and on…

Cut to…

Camera shot following me as I storm off stage – down the corridor of the William Loveless Hall out the fire exit and into a vast expanse of car park bordered on one side by decaying railway sidings (dont ask me – it was a dream)

The image pans round me 360 as I let out a blood curdling scream of frustration

Cut to

Back inside the William Loveless Hall. Two characters head to head – one is me, one is Nick our music director

Theres dialogue – its not clear what it is but the gist of it is by going out and screaming in the car park I missed my next entrance and Nick is quite rightly reading me the riot act. Weirdly though the scene concludes with Nick asking me about take away menues


No doubt panto is on my brain that evening as our ever resourceful Production Manager Graham, patient prompt Pippa and one of the former stage crew were all having Tapas that evening. Also the review from the Wivenhoe news is in – as too is the assesment of the independent adjudicator (drum roll please!)

(pic courtesy of Onionbagblog)

Good ol’ Wiv News are very complimentary – if you want to read the full review you can do below and the independent adjudication isn’t bad too. The raffle went on too long, we missed a trick in the cooking and giant scene (apparently), we needed more colours in the costume etc etc etc But lets focus on the last – all important line -‘the audience thoroughly enjoyed the show and so did I’. Everyones in agreement it was the wonderful cast that made Jack!

A little earlier though the adjudicator did make my day when he likened me (well at least I like to think he likened me) to @lyndasnell of Ambridge fame. Naturally – my life is now complete. I have finally been recognised as’ a busy body on a bicycle, who bullys people into submission with my school ma’am tones and sniffy attitude’. Lets face it I need to accept I am now Wivenhoe’s new Joan Hickson/Miss Marple!! . My net curtains are twitching in (to quote Rocky Horror) an -tis – i – pa – tion! Before your know it I’ll be solving murders on the 4.50 from Thorpe le Soken!

But I’d like to leave the last word to the mayor…because actually for me he totally enetered into the spirit of the thing.. (a panto for Wivenhoe by Wivenhoe folk) and his lovely letter rather sums it up!

The Wivenhoe News Review (in full – any typing errors are mine!)

Energetic, hilarious and charismatic! Three words that can sum up this year’s performance of Jack and the Beanstalk at the William Loveless Hall. Brian Ford once again wrote an excellent script, expertly directed by Matt Linley. Did this duo produce a captivating show? Oh yes, they did!

Jack (Hazel Humphries) and Jill (Sally Knight) were a masterful team, combining well as a double act that fascinated from the start to finish. Jack had incredible stage presence, with a strong voice which worked well along side the elegant Jill. Dame Trott (pete McDonagh) shone on stage, with great audience interaction, playing up the typical panto dame role with true ability. Screams of laugter were provoked from the audience particularly during the duets with the indecisive Squire Adamant (George McKissock).

Silly-Billy (Sarah Rout) effortlessly produced a flawless performance, creating an intuitive rapport with the audience. Bodgitt and Wreckitt, the broomstick repairers (Anna Cernova and Rosie McDonagh), were a truly exeptional slapstick comedy duo and worked with each others eccentricities with talent and ease. Fairy Nightshade (Janet Smith), as this years baddie, worked well with them, creating some memorable scenes.

Daisy the Cow (Alice Reed) stole our hearts with plaintive mooing, Giant Blunderbore’s disembodied voice was hilariously revealed as tiny Sam Latham behind an over sized chair. The versatility shown in the young chorus roles was significant, ranging as it did from rebellious school kids to backing singers. The live band performed beautifully, as well as misbehaving to become involved in the show – particularly with Fairy Sweetpea (Daisy Giddings). the audience was expertly included, with the beanstalk (made by Wivenhoe schools) ‘growing’ through the aisles. The set was clever, particularly the voice controlled broom stick escapade.

Once again a fantastic annual pantomime and an excellent way t o start 2011. Next years performance willl be look forward to with much anticipation

Dean Bennell and Helen Chambers
(Wivenhoe News [award winning I’ll let you know!]- available from usual outlets for the bargain price of £1 – but as far as I know never knowingly available online!)


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