Pearls of brilliance at Walkerburn

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Oyster Theatre’s two-day stint at Walkerburn Town Hall ended on Saturday night ... and it cerainly produced some pearls.

It was not a cultured pearl, nor was it polished, but the mistakes were beautifully handled with great humour and huge dollop of humility.

Queen Maligna meets her timely demise at the hands of Prince Michael

Queen Maligna meets her timely demise at the hands of Prince Michael

When this reviewer found out that our movie critic Angus Wolfe Murray was going all out panto-dame styley, complete with dress and make-up, it was one of these stories that just had to be covered.

Angus played Queen Maligna, who was reportedly the most beautuful woman in the land of Sylvania. He certainly wore the frock as if he wore one every weekend (do you Angus?), but the beauty bit was perhaps stretching it a little, even for panto.

But his performance oozed malignance out of every pore. Everything from the cock of the head to the position of the fingers displayed sheer evil. Indeed, it was a bit of a surprise his subjects did not do the dirty deed ages ago.

And as for the one who dispatched the queen, young Harvey Mills’ portrayal of Prince Michael was nothing short of, well, Charming. A confident stage presence, and a voice to match, the lad will go far on the stage, if that’s what he wants to do.

Marie Therese Connolly, took on the role of Snow White with aplomb, portraying the inate innocence of the character sweetly.

Keith Lomas and Alistair Moody both kept the giggles going, as Dame Goodheart and Chuckles respectively, while Skye Houston’s twirly appearances as the Fairy Narrator were stunning, both for the word-perfect oration, as well as wonderful comic timing.

Kinta Lindsay, as Maligna’s alter ego the apple witch, and Ryan Cochrane, as Alonzo the Lord Chancellor, were great scene-stealers.

The dwarves, Arran Houston, Peter Lambert, Katie Connolly, Rosie Mitchell, Harry Watson, Abbie Nesbit and Max Mills, may have been short of stature, but were ten feet high when it came to measuring fun.

Director Sue Tickner has brought in a diverse cast of players and ensured they look like they have been together for years,

The overall sense from the evening was one of pure joy.