Review of Pantomime and Clowns
Clowning with the classics
Last Sunday Milton Keynes Theatre was invaded by snowmen, Lion Kings, Little Red Riding Hoods and countless other pantomime characters for the annual All-Age Family Concert given by Hilary Davan Wetton and the Milton Keynes City Orchestra. The high quality of the fancy dress worn by the younger members of the audience for the half-time competition gave the adjudicators a hard time, but the winners were presented with a variety of prizes donated by Alex Tham from Snowman Enterprises Limited. The orchestra played a delicious mixture of music connected with the concert's theme, Pantomimes and Clowns. The highlight was a delightful performance of Howard Blake's The Snowman narrated by Susannah Simons, the radio presenter, and local chorister Laurie Martin singing Walking in the Air with remarkable clarity and precision. The orchestral musicians interpreted the many different styles in this challenging score in their accustomed skilful way. For me the other highlight was Kabalevsky's suite called The Comedians which includes several pieces often used in adverts and as background music; it is familiar music to which the listener can never put a name!
The people sitting round me said that they'd really enjoyed the concert - for many their first ever - and the rapt attention to the music shown by all the youngsters that I could see demonstrated what a novelty and a treat they were enjoying. The city is privileged to have such a talented and versatile orchestra resident at the Theatre, a sentiment with which, judging by their cheers and applause, several hundred youngsters would agree.
Reviewer: Roy Tipping