This week, the stage of Abingdon's Unicorn Theatre is full of amazing characters - a talking octopus, cat, mice, giant kid-eating spiders and (much to the audiences delight) Kevin, the doleful giant.
These characters are brought to life with some excellent puppets in a production that is witty and inventive.
Abingdon Drama Club's pantomime, Rapunzel, is full of good gags. It even makes some topical sideswipes at Government education policy and Royal Princes pontificating on green issues. Director Michael Ward makes clever use of the Unicorns tiny stage. I particularly liked the school bus, complete with working headlights and spinning wheels, and the use of giant picture books to denote the many changes of scene.
In a large and capable cast, Lynne Smith stands out as delightfully nasty witch Rubella Snotminger. Ruth Collins and Allen Dannfald work well together as the prince and "his" rather infatuated manservant.
There is also some clever doubling by Malcolm Ross in a veritable wardrobe of frocks as several dames and Adam Blake as various sidekicks, Alexandra Codling is a feisty Rapunzel, stolen as a baby by the witch she believes to be her mother.
When she learns the truth, she shouts at her (like many teenagers before her) "you're not my mother - you're just an old witch!"
On the first night, the sound balance for the songs wasn't quite right, but the cast's enthusiasm, the inventive plot and staging plus engaging performances all round ensured an enjoyable night.
Stephen Briggs - Abingdon Herald