Firmly anchored to my seat in the space capsule (aka Trinity Church hall) I was transported to a galaxy far far away. Well, it seemed so when the curtains opened I beheld a scene resembling a spaceship heralding the opening of the Trinity Players panto.
But what am I doing here? Few can resist the fun and frolics of a good panto, so here I was, full of anticipation. Knowing nothing about Star Wars, not even seen the film and I hadn’t a clue what it was all about - so you may boo as much as you like, see if I care.
Entertainment was here in full measure. Plots, wicked baddies, goodies, unrequited love and of course maybe a happy ending but we were kept in suspense.
Beginning with Bob Allen who entertained us on the ivories, Ann Peppitt in impeccable style gave a resume of what to expect, the lights were dimmed and we were ready - oh yes we were!
In true thespian style each and everyone gave a performance befitting their allotted role, and certainly doing us proud, keeping the audience glued to seats and highly amused. To quote Dickens ‘there is nothing in the world so irresistably contagious as laughter and good humour’: Indeed, a man on the seat behind me, unable to contain himself, couldn’t stop laughing through the whole performance and was heard to say at the end with a contented sigh, ‘the best ever’!
However, I feared for the state of his tummy muscles.
Interaction is another ingredient of the Trinity pantos but as an afternoon performance was to be held the next day, we missed some of the younger ones to spur us on - but we were not to be deterred.
Especially with the appearance of Lord Vaper: superb acting here, and never mind his chest complaint, he was a target for derision and we let him know it! Suitably partnered with Captain of the Death Star, Christine Willoughby who managed a creditable performance and yet concealing another well acted role as the criminal, Barbarella.
But first, time to get tissues out as the poor orphan Luke, convincingly played by the intrepid Denise Cullingworth, enters the stage feeling mightily sorry for himself?
He is so love sick for the beautiful Princess Leah, charmingly played by Alana Simms, and doesn’t know what to do about it?
Something good is bound to happen, but not yet as the Princess is rushing through space with secret plans and also under attack from that evil Lord Vaper.
Meantime Luke finds other things to occupy his mind as the story unfolds.
Meanwhile the audience enjoys a robust sing-song, oh yes they did - words printed on the back of the programme, so no excuses for not joining in.
Lots of enthusiastic role playing by some youngsters, terrifically well done. Heather Robinson, in particular, treated us to a delightful dance routine; likewise Bethany Morgan, a gem, both on her whistle and also word perfect.
Various members of the Simms family were kept busy throughout, Phil, Alana’s father in his element giving a convincing performance as Lady Kenobi, but will she find that cosy wee planet to call her own?
And there is Hans Duplo, the crooked estate agent, well played by Nigel Morgan; but we needed to keep a watchful eye on him!
And what is this strange phenomenon ‘trinityteas’ and lethal cake? another twist and turn!
However, all good pantos must have a happy ending. When discovering who her father really is, permission was finally granted for the lovers to marry; a lovely ending - indeed it was - oh yes it was!
Trinity Players never disappoint and once again excelled themselves in this unusual and highly successful production.