The Edlesbray Players have been putting on pantomime's in Eaton Bray since 1994.
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1995 - Babes in the Wood

Programme Cover

Babes in the Wood Programme Cover

Cast Photos

Babes in the Wood Cast Photo

From Focus Magazine, March 1995

Another Panto Triumph

Focus has been extremely fortunate in obtaining a review of our recent panto performance by one of the country’s leading amateur directors, who slipping into Eaton Bray hall incognito, greatly honoured us with her presence.

'My Dear Friends,
I cannot tell you how much pleasure it gives me to review your recent panto production, ‘Babes in the Wood’ and to make nominations for my very own ‘Linda Snell Village Panto Awards’.

Naturally, you will have some difficulty matching the performance of we Ambridge folk, but then of course one cannot be everywhere at once, can one? And your own Val Trantum did so wonderfully well in my absence.

The torrential rain that lashed down on the walls and windows of Eaton Bray Hall, gave an uncanny realism to the Saturday matinee performance of this year’s village panto, and made the terrible plight of those innocent children even more moving to endure. Such extreme emotion was also experienced by some ‘Babes in the Audience’ on the first appearance of Dirtie Girtie, the wicked witch, who green down to her very pop-socks succeeded in frightening us all!

I did overhear it said that the child who demanded to be taken home at the beginning of Scene 2 was displaying remarkable good sense, but I do not agree with this sentiment at all. I consider the whole performance to have been one of the most skilful productions I have had the pleasure to witness and as the plot unrolled, I was continually amazed by the outstanding talents that so many people keep tucked under their business suits for most of the year.

Although it is of course, odious to select individuals for special mention from such an array of talent, I have chosen the following Nominations for the aforementioned Linda Snell Awards:

  • Nomination for Most Superlative Performance – Gordon Gray in the role of Dirtie Girtie.
  • Nomination for Best Memory – Keith Reynolds as Fairy Twinkletoes. (An alternative nomination for Prettiest Fairy was disallowed, Keith being judged to have an unfair allocation of Nature’s gifts in this respect.)
  • Nomination for the Golden Throat Lozenge – Donna Hughes as the cackling witchette, Eany. (We hope her lovely singing voice has not suffered permanent damage.)
  • Nomination for Best Dimples – Sona Wescott as Lady Penelope.
  • Nomination as Most Wicked Cradle Snatched – Bob Stilliard who as Parker was deeply in love with the aforementioned youthful dimples.
  • Nomination for Dopey in next year’s panto, ‘Snow White’ – Brian Wyke as number four witchette, Mo.
  • Nomination for Best Actors, (if a trifle wooden) – The Trees, several being graduate of the Linda Snell School of Acting.
  • Nomination for Sweetest Everything – Laura Wilkinson as the lovely Princess Ella.
  • Nomination for Sturdiest Performance, (not to mention legs) – James Geary as Prince Umber.
  • Nomination for Next Queen of England – Margaret Jones who as the kindly Queen of Edlesbray was, I suspect, simply playing herself.
  • Nomination for Most Spooky Song – The 1st Eaton Bray Brownies.

Do not be dis-heartened if you have not been selected for nomination this year, I shall certainly attend all future productions and keep my eye on the emergent talent of these villages.

I intend to suggest to our respective Parish councils that Edlesbray and Ambridge join forces next year, in an inter-village cultural exchange, under my personal direction, of course. So until that happy occasion, farewell and congratulations my fellow Thespians.
Linda Snell’