It may be July but preparations are already in place for Wellington Pantomime Group’s next show, ‘The Three Musketeers’, which will be at The Wellesley in January 2017.
Auditions for both young and more senior actors took place at The Arts Centre recently, with choreographer Ashley Payne and Vocal Coach Ian Jones taking potential performers through their musical and dance paces. Colin Marshall – last year’s Dame in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ – is putting aside crazy costumes and washing-up bowl headwear this year to direct the show and Geoff Cross will conduct the band. Andrew Winfield is once again responsible for providing a suitably zany script, full of good-hearted pantomime buffoonery.
The pantomime is based – very loosely – on Alexandre Dumas’ novel in which d’Artagnan, a young man from provincial France, travels to 17th century Paris to join the Musketeers of the Guard. There he meets with the three other Musketeers – Athos, Porthos and Aramis – and together they share adventures too numerous to list but which include duels, kidnapping, romance, theft, escapes, poisoning, trials and an execution. So, ideal for a pantomime!
There’s also commentary on the absurdities and injustices of state and court and allusions to the ongoing political debate between republicans and monarchists which, given the current political climate, should provide lots of opportunities for Andrew Winfield’s gentle (and not so gentle) ridicule.