By Trudi Glen
A PACKED crowd came to see the first night of Rubbin Hood at the Thameside Theatre on Thursday.
Too many “adult pantos” are embarassingly unfunny but this production was a glorious exception for many reasons.
Firstly, this is written and directed by Luke Coldham, who is not only a wonderul comic talent but has a sharp eye for timing and detail.
Some of the jokes are straight off the traditional double entendre conveyor belt but others have a mix of modern comedy plus slapstick classics, even a bit of Mel Brooks.
He also has the advantage of using the evergreen Thurrock Court Players who, these days are in rude health with a great variety of talented actors.
Veteran such as Jill Snelling, Wayne Prince and Martyn Williams never let you down. Infact, this was a good occasion to remember that actors such as Martyn Williams and Wayne Prince are very talented.
We also think that Jim Wilkinson put in his best ever performance. Dave Carey also showed a deft and subtle comic touch which often doesnt get the credit it deserves.
There are also younger actors such as Killian McIntosh who really command the stage. Others such as Sean Hynes, Louise Alsop and Josh Handley as big a parts as before but still play a valuable role.
Let us also not forget little trios such as Mike Jones, Vic Gray and Pauline Neal. Real team players. It was also good to see Mike Jones once again donning a helmet.
It takes while for the panto to get to the story but the audience doesn’t mind as they go from pun to pun and innuendo after innuendo.
The filthy humour is always done with a cheeky grin and a knowing wink. Bawdy rather than crude or vulgar.
The characters are all well developed (steady!). Whether it is Anna Catchpole as Maid Marian Swallow or Picket and Pocket or Prince Long John. They all leave their mark.
Praise must also be given to the dancers, singers and choreographers who all play their part in a series of great numbers.
The audience loved this and really were the “12th man” They got into the spirit of things (Hello Rob) and made it a great night.
But in the end we return to the talent of Luke Coldham. It is hard to beleive that this reporter has been reviewing his work for eleven years but we follow and support his career because he is a genuine talent whom along with the wonderful Thurrock Courts Players made it a lovely evening.