Review: Once Upon A Crime by The Heath Players

Entertainment / Fri 14th Apr 2023 at 10:44am

Review: Once Upon A Crime: The Trial of Goldilocks


LIFE is like a box of chocolates with The Heath Players. You never know what you are gonna get.

And so it was with Once Upon A Crime. This was The Heath Players presenting a family show, in what director Joanne Gladstone called a “switched up fairy tale”.

One of the first challenges of directing must have been the fifteen people on the stage at any one time. We say stage, as this was Hatfield Heath Village Hall, where space was at a premium . And so it was a miracle that they fitted in a courtroom, a stage and a cottage all in a very confined area.

Each character was very defined but what each actor did was make each character their own.

Gem Colton was near perfect as Goldilocks as, when deciding is she was guilty or not guilty and seeing her act out the prosecution and defence versions of her alleged crimes, you were never quite sure if Goldilocks was nice or nasty.

The different characters worked so well together. The Three Bears were a joy with Eve Marie-Downey probably stealing every scene she was in as Baby Bear.

The cameo of the evening was Jessica Foster as The Cow who claimed she saw the whole thing as she was jumping over the moon. There was just something out there and hilarious about her performance.

As we said, each actor made the part their own but it could have been very easy for actors to ham it up but this was a classic Heath Players performance where they acted as an ensemble. And it was all the better for that. Again that is down to great directing.

With such rich characters and characterisation, it felt like plays within plays. Hansel and Gretel (Chrissie Waites and Becks Vincent) were a great double act, bouncing off each other.

The legal teams were also excellent. Judge Farmer (nice shorts) played by Steve Foster had a wonderful Roscoe P Coltrane accent. Henny Penny (Jaki Newman) and Tom Thumb (Steve Perry) were very good as defence and prosecutors. The running theme of “small/little” jokes was very well delivered.

We probably have not mentioned all fifteen actors but please rest assured they all played their part. Not all of them had to be outlandish but they all keep the narrative going and the audience entertained. Thi really was a team game.

As this was a family show, it was good to see an audience of all ages really enjoying the show.

A special mention to Old Mother Hubbard. We were told Dot Sharp is 97. We are sure we all hope to be involved in community theatre when we are 97.

It was clear that a lot of hard work went into this. It was worth it and was a real testament to Heath Players virtuosity and ability to really entertain.

The play continues. Click on link at top for more details.

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1 Comment for Review: Once Upon A Crime by The Heath Players:

David Neil Parish
2023-04-17 19:03:40

As an old member of the Heath Players, this was absolutely fantastic and I would love to see it again. Extremely well done Joanne and the cast and the rest of the team.

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