Over 200 people packed into Usk Memorial Hall to see Usk Panto Players’ Spring Show and they were not disappointed. ‘The Good Old Days’ was based on old-time music hall, complete with Master of Ceremonies, director Peter McGowan, introducing all the acts.

A varied repertoire ranged from the old classic ‘Your Baby has gorn down the plughole’, performed by Callum Jacques, with a dubious band of supporting angels, to a silent movie tribute, where Matt Keenan took a Charlie Chaplin role, with Charles Berger as the villain, and Jackie Sinclair as the innocent lady.

Usk Panto Players
Matt Keenan and Jackie Sinclair in their silent movie sketch (Supplied)

Along with two extended sketches, one set in a Victorian market and the other in Dickensian London, the reduced cast of 14 players took the audience down memory lane with monologues, duologues, duets, and community singing, where the audience joined in with great enthusiasm.

Usk Panto Players
Callum Jacques as Fagin (Supplied)

‘There really was something for everyone, and we’ve had phenomenal feedback from very satisfied customers,’ Peter said. ‘We knew that the show would appeal to older members of our audience who knew so many of the songs, but we were amazed at the number of people too young to remember these who contacted us afterwards to say they had had a really great evening.’

Proceeds from the evening have enabled the Players to support three of their teenage members in educational and charitable endeavours as well as supporting the Memorial Hall itself. The Players will also be funding a writing competition for children at Usk Primary School for the second year running.

‘We had said that we weren’t going to do a spring show this year as it’s so much work for our writer Julie McGowan, our talented pianist Richard Wadley, and our superb crews, for just one performance, but the evening was such good fun that we are all pleased we did it.’

The Players’ next shows will be the 3-night annual panto at the end of November.