Robinson Crusoe – 2013
by John Desbottes
5-12th January 2013
Robinson Crusoe signs on as crew with Captain Perkins, his beloved Polly, the captain’s daughter, manages to join the ship disguised as the keeper of the gorilla being taken back to be released into the wild. Robinson is helped and/or hindered by his brother Billy and his Motherwho both sign to the crew. Add into the mix, some buried treasure and a pirate, Blackpatch, desperate to get hold of the map which Billy has plus a couple of villains duped into helping Blackpatch and there is quite a large ship’s company who, despite the Daniel Defoe novel, all end up stranded on the island having been rescued from drowning by the Good Fairy. On the island we meet some cannibals and a spaced out and pacifist hippy, Man Friday, who knows the island well.
Robinson builds a stockade to defend the motley crew against the Cannibals and Blackpatch but he has captured Polly and through this tricks his way into the stockade. The day is saved by Guy the gorilla swinging in and scaring off the Cannibals.
Robinson and co. set off, guided by Man Friday to the ruined temple to rescue Polly and find the treasure and once they have succeeded, they are transported by the Good Fairy, home to a happy ending.
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Cast & Crew
Robinson: Catherine Reid
Polly: Caitlin Parchment
Mrs Crusoe: John Shepherd
Billy: Katie Eynon
Boris: Catherine Roberts
Morris: Jane Manns
Captain: John Desbottes
Blackpatch: Ian Watson
C.Witch: Nicola Wood
iFairy: Sophie Crump
Man Friday: Dave Sawyer
Ettafu: Charlene Edwards
Guy: Darren Giles
Director: Dot Reid
Writer: John Desbottes
Choreography: Hazel Istead & Sarah Smith
Children’s Choreography: Mandy Grace
Musical Director: Felix Shepherd
Musicians: Dan Winslett & Sarah Hume
Additional Music: Mike Brown
Costumes: Catherine Roberts & Andrew Roberts
Set Design & Painting: Di Ralston & Nicola Emery, Don Ralston, Chris Bryan
Sound: Tim Crump
Lighting Design: Ian Barlow
Lighting Technicians: Simon Barlow, Paul Barlow & Daniel Barlow
Stage Manager: Andrew Nicholson
Assistant Stage Managers: Barry Nicholson & Karen Weeks
Props: Anne Hyatt
Front of House Manager: Alan Yardley
Review by Peter Steptoe
I have nothing but praise for this pantomime by Sanderstead Dramatic Club, for it would put many a professional one to shame. Excellent scenery, colourful costumes and a choreography that illustrated and enhanced the pantomime plot. Director Dot Reid kept up a cracking pace and the Music Director Felix Shepherd had his musicians well under control.
This pantomime had very little resemblance to the Daniel Defoe book but none the worse for that. Pantomimes are always peopled with refugees from other pantomimes, such as the Brokers’ Men from Cinderella, only here they were Boris and Morris played by Catherine Roberts and Jane Manns. For me the star of the show was Mrs Crusoe the Mother of Robinson. John Shepherd obviously revelled in his role and so did we. Motherly and suitably avuncular we delighted in his efforts at plighting his troth with the ship’s captain the suave John Desbottes, the father of Polly, petite and loveable Caitlin Parchment, who was besotted of Robinson Crusoe. And who could blame her, for the tall thigh slapping hero (Catherine Reid) had legs worth preserving in aspic and Katie Eynon did her best as his half witted brother Billy.
The Pirate Captain Blackpatch (Ian Watson) had an accent directly descended from Robert Newton and his accomplice C.Witch (Nicola Wood) had a memorable duet with I.Fairy, (the good one), played by Sophie Crump.
Man Friday (Dave Sawyer) was a laid back West Indian and Ettafu (Charlene Edwards) was an unsuccessful cannibal leader. My favourite was Guy the gorilla (Darren Giles) who was word perfect, for actions speak louder.