The warm greeting by the front of house team was the start of a great night in the company of the Eyemouth and District Community Youth Theatre Group as they presented their annual Pantomime Hansel and Gretel.
The old Eyemouth High School hall was packed with an audience who were eagerly waiting to clap, boo, sing and cheer their way through the performance.
Oh yes, they were!!! and they were not disappointed.
All pantomimes tell the story of good conquering evil and the two fairies, Nightshade on the side of Evil convincingly played by Max McNeil and the beautiful good fairy Bluebell, (Kayla Aitchison) who with perfect diction and controlled timing fought the battle in verse the whole way through the show.
Read more: IN PICTURES: Eyemouth panto
Spinning their magic over the characters of Muncheon Luncheon in Germany’s Black Forrest and creating an entertaining plot to the story.
The title roles of Hansel and Gretel (Alfie Patterson and Gemma Windram) provided the cutie element but they were not to be underestimated, these kids were well rehearsed and knew exactly what they were doing.
Their Father Fitz played one of only two adults in the cast (Kenny Combes) and his overbearing wife Hildegarde (Rosie Mitchell) played a great duo of Naughty and Nice.
Basil and Nutmeg (Sebastian Aitchison and Alisha Cooledge) made a great comedy pair always looking for another scam to make them rich.
The love element to the story was provided by prince Johann and Heather (Monty McNeil and Paige Hawrylewicz) who fell in love at first sight and of course, lived happily ever after.
Prince Johann was well looked after by his aid, Wofgang (Mason Skene).
The interaction with the audience came from our Dame Peggy Pumpernickel (Campbell McNeil) and her stupid son Wally (Rose McTavish) they had the audience in the palm of their hands and had them shouting out with great enthusiasm.
I’m sure not all they had to say was written in the script, but this just added to the fun of the evening.
Other characters who added to the story were Klaus the ringmaster from the travelling circus (Sonny Crowe-Lough). He led the very colourful clown (Aaron Allan) and his friends along the dancers, Gymnasts and other circus performers with gusto.
Helping the side of good in the story were the woodland creatures, in particular, Otto the owl (Leah Turkington) “Hoo” lead Hansel and Gretel to safety. Aiding Nightshade in her evil ways were Sheryl and Russell Crow (Abi O’Neil and Mack Blackie) along with the big bad wolf (Josh Campion) but of course good won out overall.
The whole show was held together by amazing dance routines and great chorus numbers led by the wonderful voice of Cody Watkinson.
There were some touching moments as Hansel and Gretel where looked after in the woods by the woodland creatures and some great comic moments as the radio played havoc with the baking of a pie.
This was a well-rehearsed performance with beautiful costumes, make up and scenery.
The performers and backstage crew worked hard together to bring the community of Eyemouth a great night’s entertainment that could rival anything we see on the telly. The performers, producers and stage crew should be very proud of what they achieved.
Most of these kids will not go on to seek a career on the west end stage but all will carry the confidence they have gained from this experience with them for the rest of their lives.
The audience left the hall in great spirits, thoroughly entertained. Well done to all involved.