PICTURES: Phoenix Players’ annual pantomime

The cast for the Phoenix Players' annual pantomime, Sinbad and the Princess
The cast for the Phoenix Players' annual pantomime, Sinbad and the Princess

Thespians from the 50+ Phoenix Friday Club gave a magical performance in their annual pantomime.

Sinbad and the Princess was staged by the Phoenix Players at Worthing Leisure Centre, where the club is based, and was enjoyed by an audience of around 100 club members.

The king and queen, Colin Mitchell and Rosie Snow, with their entourage

The king and queen, Colin Mitchell and Rosie Snow, with their entourage

The play was written, directed and produced by Philip Spanton, in his first production since taking on the role from Pauline Wormald.

Club co-ordinator Jeanie Dickenson said: “This panto incorporated a wide range of high jinx. The audience showed their appreciation in the usual fashion with claps, boos and hisses.

“Members are already looking forward to a repeat performance for the friends and family panto tea party on March 10 at Worthing Leisure Centre.”

Colin Mitchell and Rosie Snow, as the royal parents of Jazz Mini Cooper, played by Margaret Burton, were reluctant to welcome suitor Sinbad Dundee, played by John Maplesden, into the royal enclosure.

David Oakley as Captain Hook with Philip Spanton and Audrey Lee

David Oakley as Captain Hook with Philip Spanton and Audrey Lee

Enter the dastardly flamboyant Captain Hook, played by David Oakley, who stole not only the king’s treasure but the Princess and her hand maidens, played by Sue Lanceley, Penny Nicholls and Hillary Lindup.

There followed a fast-moving, eclectic mix of dancing, singing and audience participation, including musical accompaniment from Nigel Ratcliffe and a cameo performance from Peter Skidmore, Paul Trott and Eddie Walker in an hilarious take on the classic comedy sketch Cheap Flights.

Kirk Dickenson took on various roles, including a split-personality Captain Pugwash and an original creation of the Genie of the Lamp, rising from a giant rum bottle to grant wishes.

The set was a credit to the innovative creativity of Jim Lane, assisted by his wife Mo, who also doubled as narrator and prompter. Indeed, Jim’s quick scenery changes, assisted by Pete King, were almost as entertaining as the show.

Genie Kirk Dickenson with royal handmaidens Sue Lanceley, Penny Nicholls and Hillary Lindup

Genie Kirk Dickenson with royal handmaidens Sue Lanceley, Penny Nicholls and Hillary Lindup

In true panto tradition, somehow it all ended happily with the king’s treasure, and his daughter, being restored to him and Captain Hook getting his marching orders, the cast banishing him with their final song Hit the Road Jack.