Burgers Panto


Boxford’s Pantomime is back!

…a romp through Boxford’s Medieval past!



“I really have no idea what happens in the panto,” writes the author of Boxford Drama Groups 2021 Pantomime, Gareth Price. “I wrote it 18 months ago and have drunk a lot of wine since then. I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s all about.”

Gareth Price really needn’t have worried. The Burghers of Boxford was an absolute blast! For those who care about such inconsequential things as plot you should know that the basic premise was indeed highly plausible: Betty Muffin, Boxford superstar spinster baker long ago found a baby boy and brought him up as her own son. Meanwhile, local entitled baddie Lord John Naughty has hamstrung the local population though lack of access to planning and building and seeks to blackmail Ms Muffin to reveal the secret ingredient of her fabulous home-baked bloomers by framing her adopted son for a heinous crime he didn’t commit (tripping Lord Naughty up and breaking his fingernail). The son and secret heir to the throne of England, Matt Muffin, meanwhile escapes into Primrose Wood and attempts to hide from both Lord Naughty and the flatulent ghost of the wood, George Windy Smith (Tornado would be proud). Lord Naughty captures Matt and bribes the local Burghers of Boxford (the village elders) to arrange a rigged trial to ensure that Matt is hanged by a deranged bekilted Scottish High-Court Judge, Willy Hangus. The price of the rigged trial? Allowing the good Burghers to build as many huge housing estates as they like at the edge of the village.

Are you still with me? No? Good, because the story was really a thinly-veiled excuse for an absolute smorgasbord of hilariously-terrible jokes, catchy songs and riotous innuendo by a rampant cast of fine thespians that obviously had as much fun playing (with) their parts as the audience did watching them. There were treats in store for everyone in Price’s play, equally as funny for children as it was for the adults in the audience, although often for very different reasons! Stand-out performances from Mike Keith as evil baddie Lord John Naughty, Alison Barlow as Matt Muffin and an absolutely amazing turn as panto dame Betty Muffin by David Philips are joined by Nick Elliot as Judge Willy Hangus purely for the infectious amount of delight he was having in playing the role and having all the best theme tunes. A special mention must also go to the Burghers of Boxford: Vic Rice, Tony Murphy and Pete Korabik who all put on an incredibly convincing performance as 3 confused old men. Pete Korabik (who was standing in for Derek Butler after Derek somehow merged panto with real life and managed to break his neck putting on a sock) remarkably invoking the sadly absent Mr Butler so it felt like he was there on stage.

The drama group went to town on the set design and costumes, making you feel as if you really were sat in Boxford. Director Janice Keith was able to wring every last bit of panto-farce out of her cast. Gareth and Sue Price clearly had fun with the music and songs in the play, backed up with some very fine singing from all involved. The ticket price was worth the yodelling performance from Mike Keith alone! This was one panto that you didn’t want to miss, and you’ll struggle to forget! The BRN is very much looking forward to next year’s!