Category Archives: News

It’s not all song and dance for Wayfarers

The bucket collection after each of the Beauty and the Beast shows was shared between two charities and we are delighted that we have been able to present both charities with £751.

The Compass Team at Musgrove Park Hospital, who support children with serious illness and their families.

Our picture shows Chairman, Martin Howe, and Treasurer, Keith Smith, along with members of the Compass Team: (from left to right) Sally Day, Healthcare Assistant, Dr Linda Deeley, Service Lead and Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Dr Jennie Norris, Clinical Psychologist, Gillian Terrell, Service Lead and Children’s Community Nurse, Dr Linda Whiteford, Consultant Paediatrician, and Emily Whaites, Children’s Community Nurse.2015 Compass Team (Medium)

Somerset Prostate Support Association

The picture shows Keith presenting the cheque to Tim Lewis, Treasurer, and Robert Symons, Acting Chairman, at the SPSA’s recent meeting at the Albemarle Centre.

SPSA DONATION 273 (Medium)

Collections at Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates will go to Taunton Opportunity Group, a pre-school for children with special needs, and St Margaret’s Hospice.

Tickets for Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates can be purchased by clicking HERE.

TWYGs at Tacchi Morris Open Day

The TWYGs performed a series of numbers at the Tacchi Morris Arts Centre Open Day on 19th Sept 2015. Here are some photos showing them warming up and during their performances.

Well done to all those who took part. Thanks to Group Leader, Sarah Whittaker, and Choreographer, Sheila Driver, for getting them so well prepared. Oh, and not forgetting Sheila’s able assistant Sarah Lock.

And thanks to Emma Jones for her interview with Tone FM:


TWYGs at Tacchi Morris Open Day 19th Sept 2015

The Cast for Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates

The Auditions are over.

Thank you to all those who auditioned and took part in the workshops. There were so many talented people that making the decisions for some of the parts was really quite hard. However, the decisions have been made and our cast is as follows:



Alec Whyborn

Matt Batterbsy

Tom Kelvey

Charlotte Whittaker

Cassie Sutton


Eve Whyborn

Gabriella-Rose Gonta

Kizzy Preece

Lara Adkins

Helen Coombes

Emma Knight

Feature Dancers

Emma Jones

Zoe Overthrow

Caroline Howard

Sarah Lock


Meghan Walls

Margarita Jucilita

Chris Holman

Nutty Nick

Dan Woodmason

Captain Seasalt

Stuart Lloyd


Kim Barnard


Andy Cooper


Cameron Isherwood


Ashleigh Stubbs


Tom Kelvey

Hocus Pocus

Matt Battersby

Mumbo Jumbo

Candy Mockridge (also doubles as chorus)


Ruth Ferizi

Davy Jones

Ross Walls (also doubles as chorus)

Poll the Parrot

Kirsty Newman


Kirsty Newman

Poppy Ferizi

Francecsa Sandy

Charlotte Whyborn

Nicole Heritage

Imogen Wilson

Emily Uff

Amy Chapman

Congratulations Emma & Rosie!

Congratulations to Emma Jones and Rosie Taylor who won “Comedy Duo of the Year” at this year’s Cinderella Awards for their roles in Beauty and the Beast as Belle’s sisters, Ermengarde and Esmeralda.

Emma & Rosie

Rosie Taylor as Esmeralda and Emma Jones as Ermendgarde

Nominations were also received for:

Choreographer of the Year – Sheila Driver

Best Chorus

Best Special Effects (Roses in the Opening UV)

Best Theatre Stage Management – Garry Stacey

Best Theatre Design – Garry Stacey

Principal of the Year – Kim Barnard

Beauty and the Beast came 3rd overall.

Well done, again, to Rosie and Emma and congratulations to everyone for such a fantastic show.

Presentation to Somerset Prostate Support Association

Wayfarers’ Treasurer, Keith Smith, met the members of the Somerset Prostate Support Association at one of their regular meetings to present a cheque for £751, which was half the proceeds from this year’s bucket collection.

SPSA provide services associated with identifying prostate cancers and then advice and guidance in that period during and after diagnosis. They require funds in order to run drop in PSA testing sessions, which they run during the year, providing men the opportunity to check for this particular cancer.

The picture shows Keith presenting the cheque to Tim Lewis, Treasurer, and Robert Symons, Acting Chairman, at the SPSA’s recent meeting at the Albemarle Centre.

SPSA DONATION 273 (Medium)

The SPSA were very grateful for the donation and were quick to send a thank you letter, an extract of which is as follows:

“Dear Keith,

On behalf of the Somerset Prostate Support Association, I would like t sincerely thank you and your members for the wonderful donation of £751.00 to our Charity. It was also very kind of you to make the effort to attend our meeting on Saturday to make the presentation.”

Somerset Fellowship of Drama, Cinderella Awards Adjudication

Beauty and the beast

By Alan Frayn

Wayfarers 14th January 2015

Great to be back in the Brewhouse watching a Wayfarers Pantomime.. almost as if nothing had happened. There was a warm welcome and an expectant buzz in the theatre. Thank you for the well written and informative programme – especially for the list of songs which is so often not included and makes our life so much easier. Also many thanks for the reference to the SFD and the Cinderella Awards in the programme.


I always expect a Wayfarers pantomime to be well rehearsed and slick and you didn’t disappoint. Words were solid throughout with good volume and timing although there were a few occasions when the dialogue was spoken a little fast which made it just a bit difficult to follow. It was a shame that the Dame was not in the best of health. I suspect that he shouldn’t really have been performing, but… ‘the show must go on’ and he did not let you down. There was some lovely grouping and good use of the stage and auditorium although one or two entrances were a shade tardy. Singing was tuneful both from the principals and the chorus, with some good harmonies, and your excellent band under the lead of Matthew Holmes, were sympathetic and never overpowered the singers. I did feel that perhaps one or two of the songs were a little long, but your choreography is very strong so perhaps this was just to give the dancers a chance to show off their talents.   Your choreography is always very enjoyable and this year was no different with some quite challenging routines which were very well executed. I particularly liked the tap dance sequence which was wonderfully energetic, and the choreography for ‘Ladies Choice’

I liked the settings used, the scene changes were slick and the action nearly continuous which is good. Even when the black curtain jammed, the brief moment when you brought the wipe curtain across to cover it being freed was smoothly done. The roses in the prologue were very good, the way they shook and then blew away was great and pretty realistic, an excellent start to the show. I liked the castle setting but I wasn’t sure about the ‘mirror’. I didn’t actually realise that it was supposed to be a mirror until it was referred to as such, although what you could have done about that I am not sure. But, I do feel that it would perhaps have been a little more effective if the people that were to appear had been in position when the lights changed rather than wandering into the light. Whether this was a problem with cueing I don’t know, but it happened on several occasions the night we saw it. The lighting was effective throughout with some nice changes of colour and good use of the follow spots. I did think that Flora and Belladonna (Belladonna especially because of her dark costume) were very dimly lit in the prologue but I suspect that this was to prevent too much spill onto the UV. Some of the lighting cues were perhaps a little too quick, thinking mainly of the Beast to Prince transformation but there were a couple of others. In a similar vein, it appeared that almost all of the entrances of the Fairy and Witch were a fraction late. I don’t know if this was a problem with access or cueing, but on almost every entrance the lights came up and then we waited for the actor which felt a bit awkward. All of the props were appropriate and well made, I particularly liked the ‘steam’ cabinets, a fun bit of magic which worked well, although the neck twisting should really have gone in the opposite direction when ‘unwinding’. I thought the costumes were excellent, with a nicely themed silver and blue walk down, but as there only appears a Wardrobe Supervisor I have to assume that they were hired. None the less, everything fitted well and looked good so a job well done.


This was a very enjoyable pantomime, well rehearsed and well executed. Good singing, dancing and acting throughout, supported by a slick backstage crew. Reading back through what I have written it may appear that I have been rather critical, but all of the points are very small and it is because you are so consistently good that these tiny inconsistencies seem to stand out.


The comments below are of necessity fairly brief and are meant to be taken as a helpful guide for future performance. Please don’t take criticism to heart, it is after all, one person’s opinion.

Belle – Kim Barnard

We get a lot of different emotions from Belle and I thought that you coped with it really well. Your lines came across with conviction and you have a good singing voice. An enjoyable performance. Thank you.

Beast – Andy Cooper

A difficult part because you have no facial expressions to help you. You made up for this with good body language and a really strong voice. A job well done

Esmeralda & Ermengarde – Rosie Taylor & Emma Jones

You two were a delight and I really enjoyed your double act. Good comic timing and physicality, really good fun. You do have to be a little careful because at times the combination of accent and speed of delivery meant that I missed a few words, nonetheless terrific fun, thank you.

Madame Fifi – Stuart Lloyd

What a shame that you were not at full strength on the day I saw the show. I suspect that you should not really have been there. However, after the first appearance you really managed to keep up the energy and put in a good performance, well done.

Jaques – Dan Woodmason

Truly daft as you are supposed to be. Good comic timing and you worked the audience well. Just watch the pace of your delivery… it was a little too quick in places… Great fun.

Belladonna – Val Wright

A nice stage presence. I thought that you were suitably evil and managed to get the audience booing without any trouble at all. You coped well with the audience interaction and your arguments with the good fairy worked well. Well done.

Flora – Anna Howe

A proper good fairy and your interactions with Belladonna were great. Nice even delivery which was always easy to hear. Well done.

Le Fou – Ray Jarvis

It’s quite difficult coming into the action so far into the Panto but I thought that you came across very well. I would have liked you to have been a bit ‘weirder’ but that is personal preference.

Gustave – Nick Whyborn

Well, the script asks for conceited and arrogant and I think that you managed that very well. A good fun part to play and you certainly seemed to enjoy it. Well done

Monique & Marcel – Amber Samuel & Chris Holman

Unusual to have a second comedy duo but you really added to the overall show. Monique, I loved your voice and accent – you could break glass. A fun duo that I enjoyed very much. Thank you.

Alphonse – Steve Lukins

I liked your character, you came across well as slightly eccentric but I did find that you were a little difficult to hear at times

The Prince – James Venning

An odd character to play isn’t it, coming on early in the show and then very briefly at the end. I thought you had good bearing and sang well and your scenes with Belle were believable. Well done.


I always look forward to the dance numbers at Wayfarers. You use some interesting chorography and it is always well rehearsed and well danced. This year was no exception. Well done to all.


As with the dancing, the Wayfarers chorus is always well rehearsed and enthusiastic and really add a lot to the show. It is refreshing to see a chorus that actually look as if they are enjoying themselves and it makes such a difference to the overall experience… Well done.


There are a great many people back stage and front of house that contribute to the staging of a pantomime, many of whom go un-noticed and un-thanked. Maggy and I would like to thank all involved in bringing this fun show to the Brewhouse stage, for your hospitality and for an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

Dave Goodall

Review from NODA for Beauty and the Beast

Back to the Brewhouse and back to a panto spectacular with lots of glitter and pyro’s at the ready. This year the script by Alan Frayn was an interesting combination which had echoes of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with a handful of panto characters and a sitcom beauty parlour and its staff thrown in for good measure. Laughter was high on the agenda with much mirth caused by Belle’s two undesirable sisters who strutted and flounced with polished ease. Sweet delicate Belle was truly beautiful as she graced the stage with a bounty of talent. Madam Fifi in her magnificent wardrobe, complimented by her son Jacques brought the true panto flavour to the piece along with the glamorously evil Belladonna and her pretty counterpart the sparkly Flora. The dancing as always with Wayfarers was a highlight with Devil’s Dance and Happy being two of the most memorable. The young TWYG’s (the junior company) complimented the adults and gave the production youthful energy in abundance. The set from Scenic Projects and costumes from Triple C enhanced this slick production and the lighting and special effects brought the production alive with colour and yet more sparkle. The company have returned to the Brewhouse with the panto flag waving high and keeping festive theatre live and well in Taunton, well done to one and all.


Review by – Jo Wilson-Hunt (Regional Rep Area 8a)

Sardines Review of Beauty and the Beast

Sardines is an online review website that looks at shows all over the country, both professional and amateur.

The review of Beauty and the Beast can be found here:

Beauty and the Beast 2015 - The Cast

First Review for “Beauty and the Beast”

(Full Review from Sue Goodman of the Gazette)

Wow!  The Wayfarers are back at the Brewhouse, and better than ever.  “Beauty and the Beast” isn’t a traditional pantomime, and this production, under Brian Epps’ inspired direction, uses both traditional and modern elements to create a wonderful show.

The evening fizzed with energy from start to finish.  Everyone on stage knew exactly what they were doing, and gave it all they’d got, which was plenty.  Special praise must go to the young TWYGs – you know who you are, and all your applause was very well deserved.

We expect a pantomime to be filled with romance, comedy, music, magic, jokes new and old, inventive business and impressive special effects.  This show delivered on all points.  The principals were all strong, working well together in ensemble scenes.  As Belle and her Prince, Kim Barnard and James Venning, looked the part, sang beautifully and moved well;  the Prince’s alter ego, the Beast, was movingly portrayed by Andy Cooper, who also has a fine singing voice – his duet with Belle was a highlight.

Stuart Lloyd gave a splendidly traditional Madame Fifi, full of fun and good clean smut, and I lost count of the number of wigs he got through.  He even nonchalantly managed his slipping microphone pack while staying in character (one of the very few technical hitches occurring on stage).  Nick Whyborn’s Elvis-inspired Gustave, Chris Holman’s outrageously camp Marcel and a very acrobatic Jacques from Dan Woodmason took comic silver in this show, but comedy gold goes to the ugly sisters – Rosie Taylor and Emma Jones as a terrible teenage twosome with ghastly (but very funny) accents somewhere between Bristol and Bridgwater, and no inhibitions at all.

Magic and spells came courtesy of Anna Howe as Flora and Val Wright as the sinister Belladonna, intent on wrecking the plot – nasty is always more dramatic than nice, but never wins.  Excellent cameos from Ray Jarvis as the unpleasant M. Le Fou, Steve Lukins as Belle’s father, Alphonse, and Amber Samuel as Essex girl Monique, gave depth and added dimensions to the ensemble.

Musically, MD Matthew Holmes presented a series of memorable numbers, some well-known, others less so.  He used both live instrumentalists and recorded backing tracks, seamlessly integrated.  All the principals sang with panache, and the chorus sound was especially bright and keen.  The dance numbers, choreographed by Sheila Driver, were of a very high standard.  No-one, even the youngest, put a foot (or a hand) wrong, no-one flagged and there were no ragged moments or wobbles.  Even the boys danced as well as the girls – an unusual and very welcome sight!

Sets and costumes were gorgeous – as we have come to expect – lighting effects were dramatic, and mishaps were few.  We were left in the dark for perhaps a few moments longer than necessary for scene changes, but this is a small price to pay for such a brilliantly complex show.

Overall – an undoubted triumph!  The Wayfarers are performing at a higher standard than I’ve ever seen them, and I wish them every success for the rest of the run and future shows.

Sue Goodman


Less than a week to go!


It’s just a matter of days before “Beauty and the Beast” takes to the stage.

The final touches to the sketches are being done and the dance numbers have been run to get the routines well and truly engrained in the casts minds.

4 out of every 5 seats is sold with 6 days to go, but the remaining tickets are selling fast.

This really is going to be a fantastic show. We hope you have your tickets as it would be a shame to miss out!

Group - Fairy, Belle, Fiffi, Jack, Evil Witch