The Pied Piper: 24th-26th February 2005

A youth production at The Roses Theatre.

Gloucestershire Drama Association Full Adjudication:

I was looking forward to seeing your production of the Pied Piper and was not disappointed. Ever since childhood I have been fascinated by this story told by Robert Browning in his wonderful poem, in spite of the sad ending and by the moral, so much so that I learnt it all by heart! Sorry -not a boast but just to re-enforce my opening statement. I found your choice of this particular script most interesting. I know from recent experience that there are several scripts from which to choose and while I am familiar with David Wood’s work I had not come across this one. My memory now tells me that you made an excellent choice particularly as you wanted to work with a large number of children as well as with adults in what were minor roles!

Your production was very well presented. You were right, I feel, to have an unfussy set and minimal properties. I wasn’t quite sure about the “lay-out’ of levels, bridges etc but your cast used the stage very well indeed and the sound effects, lighting and smoke were all excellent.

As I have indicated I wanted to play around with your set! I’m quite confident that you had very good reasons for the way it was designed, so therefore, I wish I could have a conversation with you. However, as I can’t, I’ll try to explain what I think! Could the bridge over the river not have been more centre stage, still maintaining the ramp? It would have made the rats and children’s exit more dramatic. I know the children did not drown but could they have gone up dancing behind your great cyclorama with even the lame child left behind? These are questions not criticisms. Why was the bike not more obvious? Or could it have been wheeled/ridden in, when needed? If your set had not been as good as it was I would have no questions. Get me?
Congratulations to designer, stage manager and all backstage workers.

Congratulations on your very effective and dramatic lighting. Your spots were direct and actors knew where they were! This, sadly, is not always the case! The lighting on the Pied Piper’s entrance and exit was excellent and your use of colour just right. The cyclorama was used dramatically also. In all, some of the best lighting I have seen this season. Thank you, designer and operative very much.

You had very few props as most were mimed and extremely well done! You provided the necessary boxes/containers for the cast to acquire their costume changes. Excellent.

Not a great deal needed, thank goodness! What was necessary was splendid. Thank you.

Again, everything in this department was absolutely right. Your programme credits your cast for this – what about the Piper? All was great, thank you.

Like everything in this production your music and dance were excellent. Having seen your publicity in the Citizen I was disturbed that your Piper was not a flautist. My concern was immediately removed as I carefully watched her miming and eventually discovered who was in fact playing. This was so cleverly and accurately executed. Many congratulations. I also congratulate your children on their singing, the part songs were so well done by such young people. Every word that everyone sang could be heard. Congratulations Musical Director, pianist, flautist, percussion. Dance and movement was also excellent, the whole stage was used by your cast with no apparent difficulty. Your Piper was fascinating and her poses brilliant. Many, many congratulations to everyone responsible.

You will have realized by now how taken I was with this production and I do congratulate you. I was most impressed with the pace and speed which was maintained throughout and pleased that the show was not over long or dragged out. Your children were at all times quite astonishing, they were confident, word and squeak perfect with very good movement and dance. As they turned into rats and back into children they managed their clothing with expertise and precision. Best of all they were always part of the team. I have mentioned your lighting and music. You are also to be congratulated on your flute playing. I notice that you tended to follow casting suggestions etc given in the script, any particular reason for this? Your hard work certainly bore rich fruit. Well done all round.

You were an excellent team. You kept pace and speed throughout and worked with each other in a totally believable way. Four members taking two roles probably added fun to your rehearsals? I will have difficulty commenting on you individually which is in itself a compliment.

Both parts played well with the right authority for the Mayor (I would have liked to have seen
you on that bike though!) Well done.

A good performance and lovely singing. Thank you.

Child Leader
Well played. You obviously knew what was demanded of you and you gave it. Thank you.

A very good authoritative performance. Your stage presence and command was splendid and not once did you attempt to steal the show! Congratulations.

Not easy to be a man of two cloths with opposing views! You coped well and certainly made your presence felt as Priest. Well done.

Lollipop Lady/Narrator
Congratulations -you carried both of these dharacters very well. As Narrator you had splendid and clear delivery. You also always found your spot light. Well done.

This was an outstanding performance. Your movement, dance, postures and projection were all excellent as was your singing. Your flute miming too was very clever and looked real. Many congratulations. I enjoyed your performance enormously.

Tradesman/Rat Catcher
You were quite believable in both your roles. You looked just right too. The Rat Catcher scene was amusing and you kept the pace going very well. Congratulations.

Small Child
Well done little girl. You were totally involved in the action, your concentration at all times was
splendid. Keep with it here’s to the next time.

Lame Child
Very good performance. Your singing was lovely and you coped with the stick, but next time you see a person using one -look at how it is done!

Old Rat
You brought real pathos to this play. I could not help but feel sorry for you. Well done. Townsfolk
Well done two ladies. Essential to have reliable actors like you to swell numbers and sing and
dance. Good.

You were all just amazing. You did everything you had been directed to do without any hitch at all. Your singing was fantastic, every word could be heard; your four part round was lovely. Movement about the stage, your dancing and total involvement in the story and the action could not be faulted. Your performance as Rats was fantastic, wonderful ratty movements and your squeaking was so very good! You managed your changes of clothes efficiently and made confident and accurate exits and entrances at all times. Sincere congratulations to you all.

I hope I have done justice to this lovely production. My companion and I were both thrilled by your work. Thank you for your hospitality. We had a great evening.”

Margaret Gelberg
GDA Adjudicator