The most traditional pantomime Snow White was our Millennium production. In fact it was the first time the Company had ever staged it, as it had never been performed before. Stalwart member Rachel Grey gave a polished performance as Snow White before she embarked on her university degree. The Company for the first time used a full orchestra under the lead of Jaci Brickley-Clark and they also decided to introduce personal microphones for the cast. Nick Leek decided to retire from his position as Musical Director but carried on as Chairman. At the beginning of the year Bob Symons who was awarded for outstanding service died at the age of 58. He performed in and produced many shows and was a semi-professional to the Company. At the start of 2001 the sudden death of our Membership Secretary and Drummer Ted Hunt was reported. Ted gave so much time, skill and friendship to everyone. In mark of respect the Company decided to award annually a Ted Hunt Memorial Shield to the best boy and girl. During that year we staged Red Riding Hood. Another extra performance was included, this time on a Friday Matinee which meant the Company increased its performances to eight.
At the start of 2001 the sudden death of our Membership Secretary and Drummer Ted Hunt was reported. Ted gave so much time, skill and friendship to everyone. In mark of respect the Company decided to award annually a Ted Hunt Memorial Shield to the best boy and girl. During that year we staged Red Riding Hood. Another extra performance was included, this time on a Friday Matinee which meant the Company increased its performances to eight.
In 2002 we decided to produce Robinson Crusoe. For the first time in while the script was written by its Production Team and was orchestrated by Janette Disson. Also at its AGM in May saw Nick Leek step down as Chairman and our Company dame Ken Jones took over to keep the Committee of the oldest Pantomime Company in Wales in order.
The 2003 production was somewhat unique as we performed Peter Pan, which is usually seen as a stage show. However our talented producer Stephen (Snowy) Clark had written and transformed the story into Peter Pan the Pantomime. The show saw a first for APC with the principals and some of the chorus "flying" above the stage. Following criticism from past audiences that they were unable to hear the singing over the loud orchestra, the Company decided to get rid of the full orchestra and hire its own personal band for the week of the show from The Music Studio in Abergavenny. As the band was so professional, it was decided that they should be hired for future productions. Producer Stephen Clark, Musical Director Jaci Brickley-Clark and Choreographer Shirley Wallace deserved credit for ones of its best ever shows. In addition the Company decided to revitalise its logo, in which a cow logo was designed.
In 2004 once again the theme of flying continued, although not out of the window but on a magic carpet to the Orient. Therefore Aladdin was our next challenge in 2004 and provided most of the older members with parts. Shirley Wallace decided to resign due to her increase workload in her new job and her other wok commitments. Geraint Webb took over as Company Secretary whilst Jaci decided to undertake the role of chorography as well as her usual role as M.D. The Company managed to retain most of its regular cast but as ever there had been a turnover of some of our younger members. It was also Stephen (Snowy) Clark’s last year as Producer with newly appointed Assistant Producer Len Lane who would take over the reigns for next year.
Download a copy of the programme for the production of Aladdin in PDF format.
Cinderella was again performed in 2005, Snowy also handed the Producers role to Len Lane, although Snowy remained with the Company and decided to explore his feminine side by playing one of the ugly sisters. The Cinderella script and set was hired from Owen Money Theatre Company. The end result was very entertaining and pleased Producer Len Lane who was making his debut as Producer.
Dick Whittington was performed in 2006. A pantomime classic that is loosely based on a distant past Mayor of London. Rumour has it that Dick did have a cat and that whilst on a journey overseas, he took his cat with him and it earned him a lot of money killing rats. Once again the scenery was hired from Owen Money Theatre Company, although the script was written by Bob Heather. The plot was criticised as being sketchy and thin in places and perhaps failed to live up to past scripts.
Although led by the same Production Team as the previous year, Len Lane and Jaci Brickley-Clark and accompanied by the Music Studio Band, the chorus and principals raised the roof at every opportunity. Lively musical numbers included: "Is this the Way to Amarillo","The Lambeth Walk" and "Warts and All". In addition the sheer enjoyment of the large cast shone through and infected the audience which played along in true panto fashion. The end result once again notched up another rousing success.
Jack and the Beanstalk was our 75th Anniversary show performed during half-term in February 2007. Written by panto stalwart Stephen Clark and produced by Len Lane with musical direction by Jaci Brickley-Clark. With not a spare seat in the house, the audience was thrilled with just over two hours of fun, music and laughter. Jack, played by Aimee Mogford and his less than bright brother Simple Simon played by Stephen Clark made their way up the magic beanstalk to seek fame and fortune. However, a nasty surprise awaited them in 'Cloudland!' It was a traditional panto filled with plenty of 'fee fie foe FUN!'
It was the aim of the company to make this production a memorable one, as several of the cast and chorus made their television debut by featuring on BBC Wales Today and also on BBC Radio Wales. It also celebrated its 75th Anniversary in style by holding a ball at the Lamb and Flag Hotel for present and past members.
However, it was with great sadness that APC learnt of the death of our President, Councillor Gilbert Fury after a short illness.
Download a copy of the 75th anniversary programme for 'Jack and the Beanstalk' in PDF format.
The most magical fairytale of them all, Sleeping Beauty was brought to life from page to stage in 2008. led by the same production team once again, who decided to bring the panto right up to date by filming 'The Quest' (a scene filmed in Abergavenny Town Centre where several cast were driving at high speed on a motorbike). This was later screened on stage during the performance. Nicola Cantel returned from university and played her usual role as principal boy, while Emma Williams played the title role as Princess Aurora. From the stylish opening, powerful musical numbers and excellent choreography, sellout audiences were given a night to remember.
Download a copy of the programme for the production of Sleeping Beauty in PDF format.
This was the first time the Company had ever performed Hansel & Gretel in its 77 year history. Despite the credit crunch APC managed to keep ticket prices the same as in previous years. Stephen Clark who has a wealth of experience in all aspects of theatre returned as Producer and played the part of Tommy. While his double act Ken Jones played the familiar part as Dame Totty. Despite the show not being completely sold out, the production received excellent reviews, thanks to the talent cast and chorus. As ever audience participation was again popular as the pantomime featured its very own 'Abergavenny’s Got Talent'.
Download a copy of the programme for the production of Hansel & Gretel in PDF format.