‘Undressing queen’ steals the show in Shoreham Academy panto

Shoreham Academy’s drama department pulled out all the stops with a fantastic panto version of Puss in Boots.

Written by Ben Crocker and directed by Abigail Robinson, the school’s new head of drama, the performances last week were a rip-roaring success.

Torrin Gieler, 14, left, and Thomas Sharpe, 12. Photo by Derek Martin DM2021061a

Torrin Gieler, 14, left, and Thomas Sharpe, 12. Photo by Derek Martin DM2021061a

Students from years seven to 10 took part and, by all accounts, had a marvellous time doing so.

In pictures: Panto Puss in Boots at Shoreham Academy

Puss was played by the wonderful Zarrina Danaeva, with Annaliese Visser as Jack, the hero of the piece.

Zaki Lynch and Dexter Lamley-Grinstead provided some excellent comic turns as the hapless and helpless bothers Jasper and Jeffro.

But the real star of the show was year-nine student Torrin Gieler, who played the outrageously effervescent dame, Queen Wendy.

Torrin stole the show and the queen’s undressing scene will, without a doubt, become the stuff of legend.

Making up the rest of the cast were Poppy Stewart as Princess Esmerelda, Juliette Campbell as the good fairy Priscilla, Sam Lewis as the terrifying ogre Grimgrab, Hermione Hamlen-Shearing as the bad fairy Pernicia, Lottie Giran-Carter and Katie Atkinson as Betty and Babs the love interests of Jasper and Jeffro, Tommy Onslow as Bobby the royal page and Thomas Sharpe as the long-suffering husband to the queen, King Wally.

As a surprise for the students, and the audiences, Miss Robinson arranged three cameos. Principal Jim Coupe, vice-principal Martin Sacree and business director Tim Harkins played, to great acclaim, three killer bunnies, intent on reeking revenge for the kidnapping of their fellow ‘brother and sister bunnies’.

The cast was assisted by a wonderful ensemble and accompanied throughout by a superb house-band, directed by Sion Parry, director of performing arts.

The final curtain came down after three fantastic performances but plans are already afoot for a new production.

Miss Robinson said: “Watch this space, news of the 2021 production is coming soon.”