wins three more NODA awards

2013 Awards

Best Panto, Best Musical and Best Production in District 9 (most of Herts)

These awards were announced at the Eastern Area AGM in St Ives on 27th April

In NODA District 9, Broxbourne Theatre Company competes against about 20 similar local theatre groups in an area covering most of Hertfordshire.

The Pirates -- Peter Pan the Pantomime -- Broxbourne

Peter Pan the Pantomime, presented in January 2013 and directed by Ian Stretch, received the award for Best Pantomime -- the fifth time that Broxbourne Theatre Company has won this award since its introduction in 2007.


Oliver! in May 2013, directed by Vicki Avery, received the award for Best Musical and Best Production of the year.



The news comes as Broxbourne Theatre Company makes the final preparations
for its latest show Fiddler on the Roof. This has the largest ever cast of 57
and will be at the Civic Theatre in Hoddesdon from 7th-10th May.



Broxbourne Theatre Company wins
local NODA pantomime award
for fourth year running

Dick Whittington
Best Panto and Best Overall
Show of 2007

Best Panto
of 2008

Robin Hood
Best Panto
of 2009
Cinderella Coach Logo Broxbourne Theatre Pantomime 2009/10
Best Panto
of 2010

As a member of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association, Broxbourne Theatre Company is part of Area 9 and competes against 22 other theatre groups in and around Broxbourne, Cuffley, Hertford, Hitchin, Letchworth, Stevenage, Royston, Welwyn and Ware. Together they present an estimated 30 to 40 shows each year, including pantomime, drama and musicals.

The Area Committee once again awarded Broxbourne Theatre Company the top panto prize for its 2010 pantomime Cinderella, making it best NODA pantomime in the North, South, Central and East Herts area for four years in a row.

Cinderella had a cast of nearly 50 onstage and more than twenty working behind the scenes.


For 2010/11 Broxbourne Theatre Company chose to present Disney's Beauty and the Beast. This was a musical not a pantomime. Consequently Broxbourne Theatre Company was not eligible for the Best Panto award in that year. Awards for the 2011/12 season have not yet been announced.



Cinderella Pantomime Broxbourne: Finale
Finale from Broxbourne Theatre Company's Cinderella Pantomime

Director: Vicki Avery
 Musical Director: Julie Davies
Choreographer: Joy Spriggs

A lively opening number got the show off to a good start, and the action developed well, through the introduction of the various characters, but nevertheless there seemed some reluctance for the audience to get involved in any lively interplay with the stage, despite encouragement to do so. However, this really did develop well in Act II.

As usual excellent settings were well handled to give a smooth progression from one scene to the next. The wardrobe department too did a fine job with the many costumes, though the thought did occur that Cinderella's working dress was a shade too good for her lowly station. There is no doubt that a feature of the Broxbourne pantomimes is the visual quality of the events portrayed. All of the principals did well both with characterisation and vocally, with Maxi & Minnie Mumm, looking as gaudily undesirable as might be expected; Buttons trying to capture a desirable Cinderella, but never quite making it: Prince Charming making sure he (she) did. It was interesting to see a Dandini, cast and played, as a minor villain, which is not necessarily the case in other versions. The chorus, both adult and youngster were an important part of the production.

There were some excellently featured scenes, the dressmaking ballet and the ghost scene being particularly effective, as was the ballroom scene. The crisis of not having the pony as planned, due to the bad weather, to bring Cinderella's coach on stage was handled well by using white clad ladies to do the job.

Lighting was to a good standard and effects were well done. Sound was a bit disappointining in the sense that there were times when the large chorus in song could barely be heard because of the emphasis on orchestra and soloists. The question of balancing the sound from effects, orchestra, individuals and chorus, both from the placement of equipment and the management of it, is a difficult problem, sometimes not appearing to get the attention it deserves.

All in all this was a very good night out and from the comments heard in the foyer as I left, I'm sure that the show was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Congratulations to the company and here's to the next production

Report by John Warburton, Regional Councillor

Cinderella's success followed a similar NODA Best Panto award for Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood in 2008/9:


Broxbourne Theatre Company Pantomime Photo: The Schoolroom
The Schoolroom Scene from Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood.

Director: Maureen Stretch
Musical Director: Julie Davies
Choreographer: Joy Spriggs

There is nothing like a good traditional pantomime and Broxbourne Theatre Company's Robin Hood restored my faith in tradition. This production had the benefit of exhibiting a very strong leading line up and it was a joy to be carried along fully engrossed in the story, cheering and booing whenever I had to.

Carly (perfect for principal boy) was totally believable as Robin Hood, carried herself and sang as though she had been made for pantomime and Sarah (Maid Marian) sang like a professional. Tommy as Nurse Norah was expert at working his audience and the children loved him. Mark was suitably evil as the Sheriff and Scott as Herman played his silly Billy role with gusto. The babes were confident in their performance as were the children in the ballet. The U.V. insects were delightful. There was not a musical number I did not enjoy but my favorite was “This is the Moment” at the end of Act 1.

Costumes were bright, colourful and well chosen. The sound was well dispersed throughout the auditorium and diction was clear. My only cause for concern was some of the cloths. From where I was sitting in mid stalls they appeared rather well worn and patched, which did not seem to match this otherwise excellent performance.

I had a wonderful nostalgic step into the past. Thank you.

Report by Trevor Wright

Robin Hood's success followed a similar NODA Best Panto award for Aladdin in 2007/8.

Dick Whittington in 2006/7 received the Best Panto award and also beat the area Best Musical and Best Drama to become Best Overall Production of the year.


Finale -- Aladdin Broxbourne pantomime photo 2007/2008

Director & Choreographer:
  Malcolm Hollow
Musical Director:
  Mark Smith

I have long taken the view that an essential ingredient of Panto is a very early and preferably noisy contact between audience and stage. The solo opening by a threatenening Abanazar does not seem to cater for this, giving the two hard working policemen the task of injecting the first comedy onto a cold audience. It was nearly 15 minutes before Twankey and then Wishy Washy came to the rescue and took matters in hand to move things forward at a good pace.

Excellent and well handled and scenery and settings, together with colourfully interesting costumes gave some very good stage pictures, and the children’s dancing team performed particularly well. Abanazer started as he finished in a thoroughly nasty fashion, Slave of the Ring was nicely off-hand, Notsoshy gave an audience friendly Wishy Washy an interesting time, the Emperor was imperiously (but not actually) in charge, Aladdin and the Princess successfully did what all Principal boys and girls do, Twanky was a highly comical and successful dominatrix, the Policemen were totally unsuccessful in crowd control and as for the Genie, well, who could resist her commands??!! Vocally, solos came over well, though non-principal pieces were less audible and sometimes lost under the orchestra. In fact more projection from those without microphones would have helped.

All in all a very good evening’s entertainment after a rather slow start.

Report by John Warburton, Regional Councillor

Dick Whittington
The NODA review

There were a number of quite outstanding things about this production that served to put the icing on the cake of some very good and even excellent performances. Those several things included a first class set, expertly handled to ensure smooth and swift changes. Lighting was also first rate, including a very effective undersea UV scene, and make-up, particularly of King Rat and Tommy the Cat was absolutely top rate.

An excellent and energetic Dame who also gave full value to the pause, a thoroughly nasty King Rat and a cheekily likeable Idle Jack ensured audience involvement from start to finish.

All of the characterisations were in tune with each other in a high standard principal line up and the whole production went along with a good pace, with just the occasional entrance and exit that was rather flat and momentarily interrupted the flow.

Singing was to a good standard and all the numbers were put over very well despite some uncertainty in pitch from King Rat and Captain Sparrow. Chorus work was enthusiastic and well disciplined with plenty of energy.

The M.D. kept good control, though there where one or two occasions when the pit, particularly the drummer, got the better of the stage, both in chorus and in solo work. I suspect this was as much due to control of the sound balance than anything else.

The final scenes were really excellent, with the wardrobe department providing a stunning costume display representing many aspects of London, preceded by a truly wonderful costermonger dance routine by the Jason Kids.

This was an excellent evening by any standards and many congratulation to all concerned.

John Warburton, Regional Councillor

See more pictures from Cinderella, Robin Hood, Aladdin or Dick Whittington .

NODA is at

Guys and Dolls Leaflet