LEDBURY Amateur Dramatic Society was modest about its latest pantomime, The Owl and the Pussycat, billing it merely as "a musical play".

This was surely one of the most suitable, polished and best-targeted shows staged by the company in recent times. In short, the children at last Saturday's matinee adored it, as did the adults.

The snappy two-act structure meant it was just the right length for the younger members of the audience and attention was held throughout, thanks to some excellent performances.

Paul Graham had considerable stage presence as Quangle Wangle and so did Andrew Hill, as the Dong with the Luminous Nose.

A mention here must be made concerning the intelligent use of lighted backdrops.

At one point, as the Dong led silhouetted cast members over a narrow bridge, his nose shone against a glowing blue screen. This was most dramatic and effective.

The Owl, played by Elaine Graham, and the Pussycat, by Haylee Powell, had plenty of verve and the four Jumblies were a delight, performing as a gaggle of rather eccentric, owl-eating schoolgirls.

The show was delightfully bizarre, with characters such as the fierce Plum Pudding Flea, played with real bounce and menace by an energetic Hettie Guilding.

I sat at the front and heard not a single prompt and to single out names for praise, as I have done, hardly does justice to a strong and talented cast.

At the end, for the finale, the stage brimmed with happy, singing children, called up from the audience.

The success of the show could be seen by the big smiles on those children's faces.