‘David Lewis’- A serious success for Pantomime SocietyPosted: 15th October 2022
‘David Lewis’ – a serious success? Oh no it wasn’t. Oh yes it was!
For the first time in its history, the Crickhowell and District Pantomime Society decided to depart from its usual pantomime antics and perform a serious musical play. The ambitious venture, which focused on local events from the mid 1800s, received an enthusiastic response from audiences at the Clarence Hall on Friday, 30 September and Saturday, 1 October.
Based in 1853, ‘David Lewis’ revolves around a fascinating historic story involving a local man, who stole 10 geese from a Llangynidr farmer. Having been brought before the Judge at the Brecon Quarter Sessions, he was sentenced to 7 years of transportation to Tasmania. Other miscreants from Crickhowell were also brought before the Bench and received various forms of punishment. To the surprise of the audience, even the simplest of crimes resulted in severe penalties, splitting up families, landing some in the workhouse and for the unlucky few, transportation.
The Victorian melodrama included a number of Victorian songs and was written by Crickhowell dramatist Lesley Alexander who was inspired by the names of offenders on a list for the Brecon Quarter Sessions in 1853; their crimes and punishments formed the basis of the story. Ms Alexander’s narrative was based on research into the lives of the working classes of Crickhowell from the mid 1800s, utilising records at Crickhowell Archive Centre and Brecon Museum.
Each member of the cast played a number of roles, in true Victorian style, and their authentic costumes made the melodrama come alive. The players were superbly supported by Crickhowell Community Band.
Although the Players were delighted with the success of the production, their next performance will see them treading the boards for a traditional pantomime, hopefully in 2023.
Photos courtesy of Sian Baynton.