Kicking up a storm of laughter

Jack and the Beanstalk was the panto for Duns and District Amateur Operatic Society
Jack and the Beanstalk was the panto for Duns and District Amateur Operatic Society

If Storm Desmond was making you feel a little blue at the weekend then a visit to Duns Panto would have cheered you up no end - it was a laugh a minute!

From start to finish Duns and District Amateur Operatic Society’s production of ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ was thoroughgly entertaining and the young cast deserve enormous credit for what was a first class show.

Credit also has to go to director Lynn Gray - you would never have know this was her first production as a solo director. She managed to get the very best out of all the youngsters and kept the older members on their toes!

The show had everything you want from a pantomime - plenty jokes, audience participation, a goodie, a baddie, a hero, a dame and of course a pantomime cow!

Scarlett Hardy performed the lead roll of Jack as if she was an experienced actress way above her years. Her singing was superb and she is definitely one to look out for in future DDAOS productions.

Linda Bayles as Jill also put in a faultless performance as did DC who played the very posh Barron Big Wig.

For me the absolute star of the show was Ben Foreman as the traditional pantomime dame Dinky Durden. You just needed to look at him and you started laughing and his brilliant, droll Scottish accent made him even funnier.

Every time Ben graced the stage he had more jokes. He got the audience involved as much as he could and he can sing a bit too! His version of the Proclaimers hit ‘I’m on My Way’ was brilliant.

At his best again was Dougal Affleck as the baddie Scallawag, the giant’s right hand man. He had the kids (and the adults) booing him every time he came on stage. We know that he has a great singing voice and again he didn’t disappoint.

A big well done has to go to Rachel Gray who played Daphne the Dairy Maid. The character had a lisp and Rachel managed to keep that up all through the show. She also was part of a great double act with Jimmy, played by Rebekah Herbert, who also had the audience in fits of laughter with her scatty antics.

Talking of double acts, the slapstick and a lot of the comedy was supplied by Slap and Tickle, expertly played by siblings Finna and Spike Hardy.

Another of the audience’s favourites was Clarissa the Cow, played by Hazel Brydon and Jane Blaikie. Along with Dame Dinky they had the audience roaring with laughter in the milking scene, and proved that you can still dance even if you have four feet.

Bringing some glamour to the stage was Siobahn Herbert as Fairy Bubbles while Jemima Bevan as Mayoress Muddle Head and John Hope as the Scary Ghost were faultless in their cameo roles.

The young members of the chorus were having a ball and this showed in their performance - although I don’t think they were fans of the dry ice!

Lynn Gray has set the bar high with this production and I am looking forward to next year’s show already - no pressure then Lynn!