|Mrs. Dinn||Cliff Bruce|
|The Genie||Mike Munro|
|Schoolgirls||Rebecca Bruce, Lucy Abbott, Sue Barker|
|Stage Manager||Rosemary Barker|
|Set design & construction||Members of the Society|
|Properties||Sue Barker, Rosemary Barker|
Special thanks to Jane Charman and John Dendy, plus other helpers.
By David Crozier, probably from the West Sussex County Times, though this is an educated guess from looking at the back of the saved newspaper clipping.
Villain Mustava-Dinn (Chris Jones) looked at the audience innocently. He had acquired Allova-Dinn's magic gamp - brolly to you - but didn't know how it worked.
Smiling, he asked the children how to make the genie appear. One little boy, only trying to help, revealed the secret: "Rub the handle" he said. Mustava gave a villain's laugh: "So that's it!".
Realising he had been tricked the little boy hit back. "You don't really" he shouted, almost crying, "I was only joking".
This was pure pantomime. Rip-roaring "oh-yes-he-is oh-no-he-isn't" type material performed by Ockley Dramatic Society at the village hall.
"Allova-Dinn and his Wonderful Gamp" was just what a cold wintry day needed. The cries of children, awful puns (Allova's mother, for example, is called Batta-Poo-Dinn) and even parish council chairman John Dendy getting a bowlful of "custard pie" mix tipped over his head. All good stuff.
The story is loosely based on the story of Aladdin we all know and love. Allova-Dinn (Nigel Howard) and Batta-Poo-Dinn (Cliff Bruce) have a laundry, looked after by Hang-Hi and Hang-Lo (Katy Howard and Jonathan Tyers). One day the emperor's daughter Li-Lo (Sarah Erskine) comes into the laundry and Allova falls in love with her.
But how can he win her hand when he has no money? Enter Mrs. Gamp, Batta-Poo to you, with bargains from a jumble sale. Among them is an old gamp. She rubs the handle and voila: a genie appears, shortly followed by a million quid. Off to the palace and before long the penniless emperor N0-Doh (Bill Bean) readily consents, in return for the million, to his daughter marrying Allova.
All seems to be going fine, until uncle Mustava-Dinn appears. New Gamps for old, he cries. He gets the new ones "wholesale by the dozen, from Santa Claus's second cousin".
Before you know where you are, Li-Lo has swapped the gamps and the wicked uncle has the magic one.
While primarily a children's show, I must admit to thoroughly enjoying myself. Performed entirely in rhyme, some of the couplets themselves were enough to set anyone off giggling.
All the cast should be congratulated for such a fine show. "Can we come again tonight?" I overheard one little boy say to his mother on the way out. I know exactly how he felt.