Cinderella – Orchard Theatre Pantomime

Cinderella
Cinderella – Orchard Theatre Pantomime

To me Cinderella the Pantomime has it all: a huge dose of magic (think Cinderella’s transformation scene), a duo of dames, a dashing prince, a fairy god mother and of course a baddie in the form of the step mother. This is therefore a lot to live up to but luckily the Orchard Theatre got it just right.

CinderellaThe show was a visual feast. The set sparkled and looked as if every inch was covered in glitter and the carriage pulled by live ponies created a wow factor just before the interval. Costumes were lavish all around with Cinderella’s ball gown and wedding dress helping create the perfect princess look. The costumes for rest of the cast were equally as fitting, in particular the ensembles ball gowns. The lighting, designed by Will West, simply added to all of this and made the already magical set, glow. All of these elements combined really helped transport the audience to pantoland and left even the grown up children wide eyed.

CinderellaThe cast overall were very strong, each playing their traditional role well. The title role was played by Jayne Wisner who not only had a beautiful soprano voice but looked every inch the princess. Louie Spence was Dandini and although he was typical Louie Spence it worked perfectly for pantomime and how his part had been written. I found myself looking forward to his next entrance, which was bound to be fantastically camp. Phil Butler was Buttons and he built up a great rapport with the audience and quickly got the kids on side. I would however have liked to have seen some more magic from him. My biggest criticism would be for Michelle Collins. She needed to have made more of her character and make everything bigger and badder, this is panto after all.   It didn’t help that she shared the stage a great deal with Alesha (Simon Jessop) and Amanda (Charles Brunton) who were the larger than life step-sisters.

There was a good variety of jokes aimed across the board so the parents in the audience were kept sniggering. There was however a ballet scene with Louie Spence and Phil Butler which whilst mildly amusing at the end could have easily been half the length with the same effect. The music was enjoyable and the live band helped give it an extra boost although at times I couldn’t help but want a bit more cheese in with the pop songs.

Overall it was a magical show for all the family. One minute you are marvelling at the ponies on the stage and the next laughing at Louie Spence’s gags, there really is something for everyone in Cinderella. This show will both enchant you and entertain you.

 

Cinderella is playing until 31st December. For more details visit their website.

If you liked this review you might also like my review of the Churchill Theatres pantomime Snow White, School of Rock and Matilda.

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