Press Report


Tiverton Gazette


December 23rd 2002

"Fresh look at the Babes"

Willow Tree Theatre Company presented Babes in the Wood at the New Hall, Tiverton.

More than just a pantomime, this fresh production, especially written for the award-winning Willow Tree Theatre Company, gave the chance to experience everything from a little bit of Shakespeare to newly commissioned modern music.

Nonetheless, the audience was there mainly to experience the fun of a traditional pantomime, and they were not disappointed.

Each year Willow Tree produces something a bit different from the last, and I thought that what seemed like another pantomime might be a bit of a disappointment - but I did not need to worry.

Willow Tree has a reputation for professional productions, many of the cast have classes all year round with teachers who have worked professionally.  So it was little wonder that they seem relaxed and confident on stage, or that they sing, dance and perform so well.  Even the extras were worth watching, acting their parts as convincingly as anyone in the company.

Inevitably, certain stars shone out and I must particularly mention the hilarious Bodgit (Richard Maddicks), the baddy with a conscience and a perfect sense of timing.   His great singing voice and ability to perform magic added to his great sense of comedy and his timing was deeply impressive.

On the subject of singing voices, another of the most memorable belonged to the good fairy, Fairy Bluebell, played by Katy Baker.

It was particularly encouraging to see such a wide range of ages in the cast, and to see them all working so well together.  The only thing I felt was that with their combined talents they could have been a little more adventurous and a little less traditional.

But the use of traditional aspects was satisfying so the good fairy always entered from the stage right, and the evil Sheriff of Nottingham from stage left.  And evil he was.  Keith Thomas played the part with great relish and soon had the entire audience booing and hissing his appearances.

There were some beautifully crafted comic scenes and there were those terrible jokes of the kind that no pantomime should be without, plus some wonderful ensemble numbers that almost lifted the roof.

The orchestra with its enthusiastic members had the opportunity to shine and did so.

The costumes were simple but extremely effective and came together well.

Technically, the set was clean and bright and did everything it should; the sound was particularly ambitious.  All in all, it was a very professional evening.

Written by - Catherine Devenish

NODA Report


Audience Reviews


Tiverton Gazette


November 29th 2005

Babes Were Wonderful

    May I, through the Tiverton Gazette, thank Irene Holland, Jon Sowden and everyone involved in the production of Babes in the Wood recently performed at the New Hall Tiverton.
    My husband, the Mayor, echoes my enthusiasm.  It was a wonderful show from beginning to end.  Every member of the cast gave an excellent performance.
    The children with their singing and smiles to match were delightful.  As for the grown-ups, the Sheriff of Nottingham had the audience in the palms of his hands from the outset.
    Nurse, portrayed by Paul Williams, was outstanding.  I could go on forever, they were all so professional.
    Thank you Willow Tree, may you long perform for Tiverton.
  • The Mayoress of Tiverton

Pride of Tiverton

    Congratulations to the cast and crew who presented Babes in the Wood in the New Hall.  The variety throughout the scenes were beautifully delivered.  We laughed, we cried, we clapped, we sighed.  The entire show was thoroughly entertaining.
    The 'polish' of the performance throughout made me proud to be a Tiverton-ite.  Our local talent is a joy and a credit to the town (even if the Sheriff of Nottingham does disagree!)
    A definite diary date for next December.
  • Mrs. T (Tiverton)

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