Harburn Village Hall - Panto 2010


For those who don't know, Harburn has a tradition in Drama that goes back many years and has involved many different styles. None is greeted with more anticipation than the annual Panto. Crowds pack the Hall in sell-out numbers and pantechnicons arrive from far and fairly wide, disgorging hordes. Raucous audience voices are heard hissing, booing and behind-youing as a mixture of old hands and novices hurl themselves enthusiastically into the fray.

This year's production was no exception, though its progress was hampered by the atrocious weather that led to the cancellation of the 2010 performances. It's never easy to resuscitate this kind of event, but Director Pooley wasn't to be denied. He brow-beat and sweet-talked the cast and crews into a second attempt and, despite the predictable crises, the show did go on and was a roaring success as you may see from the comments below!


programme for aladdin


With complete objectivity the obvious stars of this year's Harburn Players panto, Aladdin, were the chorus members Jack and Pirran Pearce, writes Matt Pearce (no relation).

Actually, picking an individual star would be difficult as so many players stood out. Gordon Clark's baddie, Abanazer (comically mispronounced by all the cast throughout) was resplendantly evil, bathed in red light and sang his signature theme with glorious malice. Wishy-washy, played by Grant Holden, kept the play bouncing along with great confidence and humour. David Dobson who has now officially backed himself into a corner as Harburn's perennial Dame, carried off the role with huge aplomb. Robbie MacDonald's cameo as Princess Jasmine's suitor had the audience belly laughing right through his speech as posh and daft Baroque restorer Prince Wal Nutwhip ("I have a motto, If it's not Baroque, I don't fix it"). And he flew back from Moscow for the part.

In fact Rob Pooley has to be congratulated on pulling together a great Panto under the hardest of circumstances as most will remember the planned run was well before Christmas (during what is generally considered to be the traditional panto season rather than mid February) but was thwarted by the ravages of our "Arctic" winter. In fact the entire cast and helpers - this year's set was a cracker - deserve a big hand for reigniting their enthhusiasm, dedicating even more time and, by the skin of their teeth apparently, producing a classic Harburn Panto. Nicola Tuxworth - Princess Jasmine opposite Natasha Rabeijis' Alladin - and Iona Clark (The Slave of the Ring) deserve particular credit for taking on roles at the last minute and Andrew Leslie (The Genie of The Lamp) for doubling up on roles for the Wednesday.

Well done all. Does this mean there will be two pantos in 2011? Watch this space...


panto 2010 panto 2010
panto 2010 aladdin

A Welcome Source of Levity in a Dark, Dark, Winter...... (another view of the Panto)
Effective costumes (Barbara Milne and others) and sets (Terry Quinn, Joanna Pearce and others) complemented a successful production of ALADDIN, the Harburn Players choice of Pantomime for this year. Casting was inspired and the mix of experience and new-comers balanced well.The whole performance flowed,entertaining young and old alike, as was obvious from the audience participation. Natasha Rabaeijs' as Aladdin and Nicila Tuxworth as the Princess Jasmine provided the love interest whilst David Dobson gave a sterling performance as Widow Twankey.

Gordon Clarke as Abanazer was sutiably scary, though one lady was heard to remark that she wouldn't mind going into a dark cave with him! Perhaps his leer was not terrifying enough. Grant Holden, as Wishy-Washy, held the whole show together, engouraging the audience to join in and proving lots of laughs in an apparently effortless way. Congratulations to the Slave of the Ring, Iona Clarke, who delivered her lines in verse, very effectively

aladdin at harburn
aladdin 2010


One cameo role which really had everyone in hysterics, even the band, who must have seen it several times before, was that of Prince Wal Nutwhip, played on Friday by Robbie McDonald. I would like to meet this young man to see whether it was excellent acting, or if he is actually like that.

To name every one of the Cast would make this fairly boring reading as compliments can be very repetitive and compliments would be what were being written. An amusing and profesional performance was aided and abetted by an obviously very dedicated and hard-working back-stage crew.

Congratulaions to all (and particularly to long-suffering Director, Rob Pooley and the enthusiastic members of the Band) for carrying the momentum through all the bad weather and for keeping the Tradition of the Harburn Pantomime alive. Better late than never certainly applies here.

B and J Le L
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