Cinderella at New Wimbledon Theatre
My disclaimer at the start is that I am a HUGE panto fan. I genuinely believe it gives many children not only their first visit to the theatre but also for many others their only family theatre trip of the year. Combine that with the tradition of it all and how much panto can make for the arts industry, well I will rave about them until Jack’s cow comes home!! However this being said if it is a child’s first trip to the theatre or the only family theatre trip of the year there is a onus to make sure that this outing is magical and special.
Lucky for us Cinderella at New Wimbledon had all the magical elements that a pantomime needs. The story telling element is kept brief but retains the vital plot points including the wicked step mother and step sisters, the audience friend Buttons and of course the magical transformation scene.
A huge success of the pantomime was the talented and varied cast. The headline name was Craig Revel Horwood playing Baroness Hardup and as suspected the show was packed full of Strictly jokes which went down brilliantly with the audience. Craig not only got booed (in character of course) but made fun of himself in perfect panto style all whilst showing that whilst he is a judge on Strictly he is a born performer with his numbers being some highlights of the evening. Pete Firman was Buttons and he quickly got the young audience on side as well as the mums and dads with perfectly pitched humour to keep all ages laughing and magic tricks to keep us all guessing.
The cast was completed with some serious musical theatre talent including Alison Jiear as the Fairy Godmother and it was wonderful to hear such a solid voice open the show, this musical theatre ability was continued in the casting of Cassie Compton as Cinderella and Solomon Davy as Prince Charming who gave warm and energetic performances and even getting a chance to combine their vocal talents with comedy in their duet.
Equally the rest of the cast from Daniel Norford as Dandini, Leanne Jones and Catherine Morris as Stepsisters Claudia and Tess through to the 8 strong ensemble ensured that the talent on stage was high across the board and the ensemble turned their hand from ballroom to tap dance and everything in between in this fast paced show.
Cinderella had high production values, with a huge variety of costumes, from tap dancing pumpkins to glittering gowns as well as a set that was perfect for the Cinderella tale. In terms of the show being a feast for the eyes then the flying horse and carriage over the audience was really something special and impressed everyone from children to adults alike in the audience.
Cinderella at New Wimbledon Theatre is a brilliant family panto, from a cast packed full of performers who simply just get the pantomime genre through to a feast for the eyes, a Christmas show for all.
Cinderella is running until 7th January. You can find out more and buy tickets here.