Dazzling Pocahontas Players cast a freezing spell
It was Heacham’s time to shine during a three-day run from January 16 with an original pantomime from the Pocahontas Players, an amateur drama group based in Heacham who are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.
This year’s pantomime, titled Freezing in Heacham, was written by Warren Marshall and Tom Whybrow, with Warren also directing the show. The panto follows the shenanigans of Brain and Freeze, selling chilli peppers and dishing out puns galore, who are finding a heatwave bad for their questionable business.
Chaos ensues as they plot to take down Dame Widdow Whippy’s successful ice cream business by summoning Lord Frostbite who engulfs the village in an eternal winter. A kidnap plot, young love and a profound moral story about greed underpin the plot while perfect comedic timing, popular cultural references, magic and audience participation draw the laughs and gasps so intrinsic to a panto.
Jokes about Prince Andrew, ‘Megxit’ and Brexit elicit more laughs from the audience and the familiar backdrop of Heacham Manor functions as a safe haven from all of the chaos going on outside.
80s hits took centre stage with the cast impressively belting out classics from Bananarama, Elton John and Queen and while more contemporary love duets from Disney’s Enchanted and A Star is Born are peppered throughout to appeal to all ages.
A running gag of ‘let it go’ is particularly prevalent, where characters uttering those three words being hounded with the chorus of that Disney film through the speakers. It is one of the many homages paid to Frozen: this is also particularly apparent in the unshakeable sisterly bond of Annatarctica and Alasica and with the hammer-wielding snowman named Thaw – a character inspired by the amiable Olaf from the Disney film and the mighty mythological figure.
It is clear from watching just a single performance that the talented cast and crew of about 30 locals are all very close and passionate about what they do and from audience reaction alone, it is clear they know what appeals to the audience. With such a successful start to the year, it looks to be an exciting silver anniversary for the Pocahontas Players.