Turnstone, by John Maiden, December 9, 2014

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No Caption ABCDE ANL-140812-104430001

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In the far off days of my youth, entertainment came mainly from the radio, supplemented by twice weekly visits to the Capitol cinema, better known in more recent times as the Princess Theatre.

The front has been enhanced by improvements to the bar and terrace, making its appearance more welcoming.

However, whenever I enter the auditorium it is always a pleasure to find myself looking at virtually the same art deco interior, fondly reminiscent of childhood days.

Last Saturday this experience was made even more enjoyable because

three generations of my family were with me. This enabled me to observe the reactions of Max, not yet two, and his sister Isabelle, aged five, to Rudolph’s Christmas Adventure, the latest production to be written, directed and choreographed by the talented Michele Larkin.

At the previous day’s opening performance, more than 200 pupils and staff from Feoffees Primary School in Little Downham, near Ely, thought this year’s show was even better than last year. One lad went as far as proclaiming it the best show he’d ever seen.

Isabelle and her grandpa had both thoroughly enjoyed the previous shows, so it was hard to believe these could be bettered, but by the final curtain we both had to admit that this show has got something even more special.

Perhaps it was the introduction of Mike Smith who had the children totally enthralled when portraying Edgar Bell, a hapless elf, and then excelled as the voice and puppeteer behind Mr Krumpus. Then there was nasty sidekick, Bugus, played to snarling perfection by Aaron Jones.

With such well constructed bad guys, the nice folks had to be on the top of their game, and they did just that, with Janie-Lou Morrey, Annie Larkin, Lucy Rollason and Lucy Groves hitting all the right notes and making the most of lively dance routines.

Wesley Harper’s performance as the Sandman was as smooth as his shiny suit, while Niall Rooney, playing Santa’s son Nicky, did a very credible job of filling old Nick’s boots. Needless to say he was helped by his grandma, Old Mother Christmas, played by Michele Larkin.

Rudolph’s Christmas Adventure runs until January 1. The box office number is 01485 532252.