Rugby club panto entertains more than 500 people

More than 500 people were entertained over three performances of an Uckfield Rugby Club pantomime.

Aladdin was an original pantomime for all the family, written in the traditional style by local writer Derek Tuffley, and featuring lots of singing, dancing and witty lines old and new.

The cast of the Uckfield Rugby Club pantomime Aladdin.

The audiences at Uckfield College on Friday and Saturday responded enthusiastically to the antics of the young street urchin Aladdin (Gregg Chappell) as he pursued true love with the beautiful Princess Jasmine (Fatima Nixon), hindered rather than helped by his dysfunctional and downmarket family, the Twankys.  

Most of the familiar characters were there, including the Vizier and an evil wizard, both with their own designs on Jasmine.

A total of four cross-dressing dames graced the stage, as well as a couple of dim policemen and two guards with a nice line in patter.

For some of the younger audience members the star attraction was perhaps the camel, whilst the singing and dancing Genie (Steven Andre) was a hit with everyone.

For the first time this year the performance included children who performed with great composure to such large audiences, especially as for most of them it was their first time on stage.  

Music was a major feature of the show and this was brilliantly delivered by Musical Director and pianist/keyboard player Will Colley. 

The production was co-directed and produced by John Lewis who said: “I was absolutely delighted by the performances and the fantastic reception by the large audiences. The atmosphere was great especially on the Saturday night and I am sure everyone really enjoyed themselves which is what it’s all about.”

Club Chairman Gordon Buckland, who played Sofar Sogood the Sultan, was equally thrilled: “To deliver three performances of this quality was amazing.

“It was a huge effort from everyone concerned, with a large cast of 23 adults and seven children and many helpers behind the scenes. This was an absolute triumph and shows the club’s commitment to providing events for all the community to enjoy.”

• Thanks to Uckfield Rugby Club for sending this report and the photographs which were taken by Dan Roberts.

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