Aberdovey Panto 2020

Hansel and Gretel

Last weekend, despite the dire weather forecast and the imminent arrival of storm Ciara, we made our annual trip to Aberdovey Panto.

We again joined our local Girlguiding group, especially as I have a Rainbow and a Guide. Rhian has only just become a guide and it was her first time wearing her uniform so she was excited.

It started off with Transport for Wales, cancelling our train. They did put on a replacement bus, but because of travel sickness, we decided to go by car.

We arrived at Aberdovey Panto and excitedly went in. Nan and Granddad were with us and sat a row behind. Becky (14) and Ruby (13) were also glad they didn’t have to sit with us. I sat with some of the guides and Reese (6) and Rhian. Rhian even swapped seats with her one of her guide leaders so she could sit with her friends. I was really pleased to see this as Rhian has been suffering from separation anxiety recently. This means she doesn’t want to leave my side. It’s wonderful to see her joining guides, as well as actually joining in and socialising too.

Aberdovey Panto – Hansel and Gretel

Aberdovey Panto are an amateur dramatics group. But, don’t let that fool you. They produce amazing pantos which are unique, current, funny and would put a lot of professional groups to shame. They take a well-known fairy tale and make it their own. Like in Hansel and Gretel, a circus came to visit. This gave some of the children who were in the panto the chance to shine. In fact, children are at the very heart of their productions, with lost of dance routines and costume changes, to give the children a chance.

a rainbow and a guide waiting for Aberdovey panto to start

Reese, was totally amazed. She loved the fact that we were shouting BOO whenever the witch came on stage. Or shouting “Don’t be a wally, Wally.” Instead of being told to be quiet, like when we went to watch Frozen 2, she was allowed to dance and shout at the stage! At one point she leaned over and whispered “Mummy… that man has a beard and he’s wearing a dress!” as well as “Mummy, the prince is really a girl!” It was fun to see a panto through her eyes and even Becky said she loved how Panto’s turned stereotypes on their head with men dressed as women and girls dressed as boys.

girl wearing Rainbow uniform and unicorn headband watching Aberdovey Panto

One of the cast was our local vet. Rhian recognised him and whispered, “He was the vet that gave Gwen (our dog) her injections the other week.” I nodded and told her that he had also operated on a goldfish the other week, the picture of which I had shown her on Facebook.

Ed the Williams vet as Wally the Wally in the Aberdovey Panto
Ed the Vet as Wally the Wally

At the end of the show, all the children were invited on stage to join in and I’m so proud of Reese who went up to sing!

screenshot from a video of a little girl in a rainbow uniform on stage with a panto character
Reese on stage
Sorry for the poor quality, it’s a screenshot from a video

Meeting the Cast

At the end of the panto and because we didn’t have to rush off for the train (which thankfully for the other girls wasn’t cancelled despite the weather) we went to meet some of the cast.

girls with panto characters of a fairy and widow twanky

We didn’t get a chance to see Ed the vet, but we did meet other cast members. Including, one of my old school classmates who had played the circus ringmaster.

a rainbow and a guide with a ringmaster panto character

Our Verdict

Aberdovey Panto and their Hansel and Gretel was another epic production full of laughs. A unique and original take on a well-loved story and showcasing the future stars. Even when things went wrong, like Wally’s top falling down, they happily ad-libbed and carried on. In fact, those little imperfections made the show even better and were made part of the show!

I really can’t wait to go back next year and to see what they have in store for us.