Skipton Players Escape Into a Fantasy World

Audiences escaped reality for a couple of hours and were plunged into the fantasy of the Ankh Morpork City Opera House and a life with ghosts, witches and performers.
Maskerade - an unusual choice for Skipton Players - was entertaining from start to finish. It was pleasing to see so many new and young faces on stage, who all played their characters well and each was funny and importatnt to the story in its own right.
Particular congratulations must go to Jessica Farmer who played opera star Christine and Abigail Ford for her role as witch Nanny Ogg in this Terry Pratchett story.
Jessica the prima donna who has her sights way beyond her talents had mannerisms and expressions not dissimilar to TVs Hyacinth Bucket.
Abigail, alongside Sue Clement, were a comedy double act of two witches, who certainly drew the most laughs. There were plenty of gasps from the audience as sex-mad witch Nanny Ogg spoke a string of double-entendres and when her "special" chocolate cake had an unusual affect on the male characters some members of the audience were almost rolling in the aisles.
The story follows the life of opera stars and their managers in the run up to a production (plenty of comical miming!) and the worries they faced, as a ghost seemed set on destroying the theatre.
The many and unusual characters including a cat that turns into a human, a phantom, a troll and a rat catcher, ensured that there were always something weird and wonderful on stage creating a lively and fun fantasy production.
The cast tried hard to keep the scenes moving but perhaps there were just too many - 14 in the first half and 17 in the second. When the set needed changing the audience was sitting in complete darkness, admittedly only for a few seconds but by midway through the second half you did become conscious of the number of times you were left waiting for the next bit to begin.
It is a a fun production and there are some talented actors who are certainly worth a watch. The last two chances to see Maskerade are tonight (Friday) and tomorrow at 7.45pm at the Little Theatre.

Review by Joanne Tooley in The Craven Herald 10/05/02