Goody Two Shoes - good, old-fashioned pantomime
Children are the sincerest critics. If they don't like something they don't hide their feelings.
But if they like it their enthusiasm is total.
Saturday's matinee of LCB Players' pantomime Goody Two Shoes was packed with kids.
The youngsters were enjoying themselves hissing and booing Septica the evil sorceress and yelling "She's behind you" to hero and heroine Goody and Simon so much that at times it was hard to hear the cast deliver their lines.
Mind you, we adults were doing our fair share of yelling as well'¦
Director Jenny Taylor's panto had instant appeal. From the moment the curtain went up on the highly effective Fearsome Forest scene with its dancing Demons Goody Two Shoes had both atmosphere and quality.
This was unashamedly good old traditional panto. Writer Paul Reakes had packed it with the corny gags, scary situations and the time-honoured audience participation which children (young and old) love, but LCB had some nice contemporary touches and local references.
Musical director Jenny Nightingale and percussionist Ian Howell were supportive without being intrusive.
A well-chosen cast was given free rein to do what LCB Players do best '“ give enjoyment to others by enjoying themselves.
Emma Hollamby filled the title role delightfully, with Jac Young the ideal complement as principal boy Simon.
Once Peter Bellis settled into Act 1 his Molly Coddle became the epitome of the pantomime dame.
Elsie Wright's Septica was the embodiment of evil and, with the help of her inept henchmen Rolo and Polo, played anything but ineptly by Lyn Ford and Marie Rayner, brought the house to hiss-boo frenzy.
Paul Reakes had created some wonderful characters - gems of roles.
Sally Gander delighted in making the most out of spoilt-brat Cissie '“ panto's answer to lisping Violet-Elizabeth Bott. Ken Duce was a wonderful Elf Cobbler '“ repairer of the magic shoes.
What Molly Coddle was to malapropisms, Gil James as Teddy, her son, was to mixed and mangled proverbs.
With Sarah Morris, Taisie Payne, Paige Robbins and Natalie Smith as Villagers and Lucy Berriman, Saskia Burke, Stephanie Hills, Alice Sergeant and Olivia West as those flitting demons under Ema Scorey's choreography, this was pantomime in the best LCB tradition.
And, following tradition, it all ended happily '“ even Graham Payne's miserly landlord Titus Tightwad was all humour and generosity by the finale.
But one of the loveliest matinee moments had come when the cast was asked a question from the stage and the little boy in front of us shot his hand up as if in class.
Like our granddaughter, he was totally lost in the funny, sentimental, colourful, magic world that is good, old-fashioned panto.
Well done LCB.