Chesham Methodist Players panto continues until Saturday 18 February 2012. This year Little Red Riding Hood is the production but the usual elements of heroes, villains, booing, cheering, songs and cross-dressing have been supplemented by an extra dose of bad guys.
Show director Paula Filby (who also wrote the script with husband Martin) said, ‘We thought the villainous big bad wolf should have a bit more help. We’ve given him three cubs and a mysterious stranger, Mr Diggs and his henchman who want to bulldoze Granny’s cottage and build skyscrapers and a high-speed rail link.’
The Methodist Players have always specialised in family shows and this year they have more than their fair share of family groups in the cast. All the lead actors have other family members involved. Paula explained, ‘I can think of five family groups. The show starts with Keith Hitchcock on stage and before the first act has finished we’ve seen one of his daughters and six of his grand-children. Then there’s his wife Di who is our hairdresser. Oh, and he’s my father too.‘
The Players also welcome professional actor Josh Wichard to the cast. Josh is no stranger to pantomime and fantasy tales having appeared in several pantomimes at the Regal Theatre in his native Minehead, Somerset. Last summer Josh was involved in a bigger budget production, playing one of Ewan McGregor’s knights in Jack the Giant Killer a multi-million dollar re-telling of the panto Jack and the Beanstalk which premieres in 2013. Josh said, ‘It’s great to be part of Little Red Riding Hood. My partner Penny has been in Players’ shows since she was three and she suggested that as I had a space in the diary I should join the cast. We’re having a lot of fun.‘
Little Red Riding Hood continues at the Methodist Hall, Bellingdon Road Thursday 16 and Friday 17 February 2012 at 7.30pm with two shows on Saturday 18 February at 2.30pm and 6.30pm. Tickets cost £7 for adults and £4 for children. Call the Box Office on 01494 784161.