Cinderella Pantomime at The Churchill Theatre

Cinderella at The Churchill Theatre banner
Cinderella at The Churchill Theatre

I will happily admit that when it comes to pantomimes I am a big kid. I love the tradition of them and recognise that often they may be a child’s first experience of live theatre or a family’s only trip to the theatre in a year.

Cinderella Pantomime opening scene

Photos by Craig Sugden

I was therefore thrilled to go along to review Cinderella at the Churchill Theatre. This is a pantomime that really captured the audience’s attention from the beginning. From the moment the lights went down in the auditorium and the glitter balls started up there was audible gasps from the children, marvelling at the lights.

Cinderella was a perfect mix of traditional gags, a stunning transformation scene, old and new songs and some more current jokes to keep the show feeling fresh. The sets are all vast and beautifully designed transporting the audience to Prince Charming’s palace or the Woodland in a blink of an eye.

The star name in this years pantomime was Lesley Joseph playing the Fairy Godmother, fresh from her stint in Young Frankenstein. Clearly a pantomime professional she was able to take the mickey out of herself, even appearing at one point as ‘Doreen,’ in the ball scene.  The cast around her were also superb. A special mention must go to Phil Reid as Buttons. He played the role of the buffoon with a heart brilliantly and you couldn’t help but feel for him when Cinders turns down his affections. His sketch with 2 unsuspecting audience members was one of my highlights and it appealed to both the adults and the children in the audience alike.

Lesley Joseph in Cinderella at the Churchill TheatreCharlotte Haines is also the perfect Cinderella. With a lovely balance of innocence yet not too sickly sweet combined with a beautiful singing voice she really is every inch the panto princess.

The song choices ranged from Baby Shark (of course) to 2 numbers from The Greatest Showman. My only criticism was that it would have been nice to have had a more recent chart/pop song in there to really get the audience dancing in their seat.

Cinderella at The Churchill Theatre is the perfect festive treat for all of the family. Get yourself down to Bromley to be immersed in panto land where it snows indoors and good always triumphs over evil.

Cinderella is running at the Churchill Theatre until the 30th December.

If you like this review you might also like Musical Theatre Musings review of Plaid Tidings, Seussical and Dr Dolittle.

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