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September 11, 2017 / basabbott

Gold in Them Thar Holes


The Pedlar of Swaffham

Anyone hopefully digging under Swaffham trees should know that the gold hoard tale is known worldwide.
Maybe the moral of Joan and Alan Huckle’s musical is that everything we need is right here.
Swaffham should certainly snaffle this touring production for a season, as it would do wonders for tourism.
The show has the air of a very good panto, with authentic 15th century costumes by Julie Bolton and team.
The songs are as fresh and singable as standards. Many in the audience must have gone home humming Always Believe in Dreams.
Musical director is Edith Peck, with Amanda Crofts on violin.
The cast are the cream of local acting talent with huge experience behind them.
For a big man, Tim Hall as the pedlar can show the pathos and woebegone, crestfallen air of a little man.
Then, when things turn his way, you feel he could blow the place apart.  
There are so many well-drawn characters. Rob Backhouse is like a sinister, smellier relation of Baldrick.
Alan Bolton is a hissable villain who relishes the song I’m Bad. Bob Good is finely ambivalent as a churchman of the day.
Beth Spaul is the kind of pretty, endearing ingenue whom no juve lead could resist. Archie the dog also steals several scenes.

Basil Abbott

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